Symptoms

Ear itching: itching in the ear

Ear itching: itching in the ear


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If the ear is itchy inside: itchy ears

Constant itching in the ear is annoying and uncomfortable. It is quickly tried to relieve the itching with a fingernail or a cotton swab. Things such as knitting needles or paper clips are also used to put an end to the itch. But this is extremely dangerous. The skin of the ear canal and especially the inner ear are very sensitive, and the eardrum may be pierced with pointed objects.

Earwax is important

Exaggerated hygiene can cause itching in the ear. Basically, the ear wax, this somewhat disgusting, sticky mass, is very important. This protects the ear canal and keeps it supple. Ear wax, called cerumen in the technical language, provides the protective acid mantle in the ear, which prevents pathogens from penetrating. However, one or the other produces a little more ear wax and they try to remove it with ear sticks or even more pointed objects. However, this should definitely be avoided. As a result, the cerumen can be pushed further into the ear canal and thus form a proper plug, which can sometimes lead to hearing problems, pain and pressure in the ear. An ear irrigation at the doctor helps here. Normally, the lard is always carried by the cilia in the ear towards the auricle. This can be easily and easily removed there.

If there is too little cerumen, there is a risk of itching in the ear because the protective acid mantle is not as pronounced. Here the ear canal should be kept supple. A good, high-quality olive oil helps, from which a drop is occasionally dripped into the ear canal. However, this is only allowed if the eardrum is absolutely tight.

Causes

Itching in the ear can have a variety of causes. Often this is an inflammation of the external auditory canal caused by bacteria or fungi. Usually there are additional complaints such as feeling of pressure and earache. Beware of an existing diabetes disease: those affected often do not notice minor injuries in the ear canal and invaded pathogens multiply more easily, since the immune system is affected in diabetics. In the worst case, a simple form of ear canal infection can develop into a severe form.

Other possible causes include underlying diseases such as neurodermatitis or psoriasis, allergic reactions to shower gel or hair spray, for example, and excessive hygiene or stress.

Cause: Inflammation of the external ear canal

Inflammation of the external auditory canal, a so-called otitis externa, arises, for example, from unclean bath water or mechanical irritation caused by cotton swabs, whereby pathogens are mostly bacteria and less often fungi. In the case of bacteria, pain is at the fore If fungi are the cause, those affected suffer from a massive itching. A smear from the external ear canal makes the diagnosis easier, depending on which pathogens are found, the ear is provided with an ointment strip that contains alcohol, antibiotics, cortisone or an antifungal.

Neurodermatitis, psoriasis

Atopic dermatitis and psoriasis can affect the sensitive area of ​​the ears, both externally and internally. This can sometimes lead to massive itching. The sufferers suffer so much that they scratch themselves bloody. During treatment, care must be taken to ensure that the sensitive skin in the ear canal does not dry out too much. That is why ointments are often prescribed.

Allergic reaction

Shower gel and hair care products can cause an allergic reaction in the ear and therefore massive itching. Finding the triggering allergen is not always easy. It is then essential to avoid this and treat the itching with suitable means.

A hay fever often shows itching in the eyes and nose - but itching in the ear can also be present in rare cases. Hay fever remedies also help here. Naturopathy, however, starts with the basics, i.e. the cause, and treats with ear acupuncture, autologous blood therapy, phytotherapy, Schüssler salts and homeopathy.

Mushrooms in the ear canal

Mushrooms in the ear canal are less common. If so, especially in the summer, in a humid climate and / or with frequent swimming pool visits. If additional ear drops containing antibiotics and / or cortisone are used regularly, the healthy flora in the ear canal changes and those affected are more susceptible to fungal colonization. Their treatment is often quite lengthy. Mushrooms tend to keep coming back. Treatment from the inside should also be considered here. (see paragraph "from naturopathy") A possibly not yet recognized diabetes disease can be the cause of frequent fungal infections.

Cleaning the ear canal

Frequent cleaning with a cotton swab must be avoided. The ear canal does not actually need to be cleaned at all. To do this, people have so-called cilia, which carry dirt and earwax outwards. Likewise, cleaning with soap or shampoo is not necessary. The acidic environment normally found in the ear canal is disturbed and the immune system is reduced. As already mentioned, this affects diabetics in particular. These should refrain from "cleaning" the ears themselves and should undergo ear cleaning at the doctor's.

If in-ear headphones or earplugs are worn frequently, they should be cleaned regularly with an alcoholic solution to prevent pathogens from being introduced into the ear canal.

Cause: stress

That may sound absurd, but stress can also cause itching in the ear. An itch without other symptoms, without visible reddening of the skin, scaling or the like is quite possible in stressful times. Relaxation exercises, meditation and yoga primarily help here. With teas such as lavender, lemon balm and hops, mixed or drunk individually, everyday life can also be made a bit calmer. Exercise and regular walks in the fresh air are good for body, soul and spirit and can reduce stress and thus help against itching in the ear.

Home remedies

In the case of massive itching in the ear, remedial measures can be taken with cotton swabs soaked in alcohol. However, this should never be used too often because alcohol has a drying effect. Vinegar relieves itching, reduces swelling, is antibiotic and ensures a good ph value in the ear canal. Boiled water is mixed with a good apple cider vinegar in a ratio of 10: 1, moistening cotton wool and dabbing the ear canal.

A mixture of sesame oil and lavender essential oil also helps against the unbearable itching in the ear. One to two drops of lavender oil are added to ten milliliters of high-quality sesame oil. A drop of it with the help of a pipette into the affected ear, and this best when lying down, takes away the itching and cares for the skin in the ear canal. This mixture also helps against fungal attack. But be careful - this home remedy is only allowed if the eardrum is absolutely intact!

From naturopathy

Naturopathy treats itching in the ear with colloidal silver, propolis and evening primrose oil. It is recommended to take nutritional supplements such as zinc and vitamin C. Alternative practitioners also treat the itching in the ear from the inside. They prescribe homeopathic drugs, Schüssler salts (No. 3, No. 4, No. 8 and No. 11) and antibiotic and antifungal plants, such as horseradish and nasturtium.

The visit to the doctor

If the home remedies do not help and / or if there are complaints such as pressure in the ear, earache or fever, a visit to the doctor is necessary. After a medical history, the ear is examined and, if necessary, a smear is taken to determine the pathogens that have penetrated. Depending on the causes, antibiotics or antifungals are used. In the case of existing diseases such as neurodermatitis, psoriasis or diabetes, the underlying disease must be treated. (sw)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.

Dipl. Geogr. Fabian Peters

Swell:

  • J. David Osguthorpe, David R. Nielsen: Otitis Externa: Review and Clinical Update, Am Fam Physician. 2006 Nov 1; 74 (9): 1510-1516, (accessed September 11, 2019), aafp
  • Bradley W. Kesser: Acute Otitis Externa, MSD Manual, (accessed September 11, 2019), MSD
  • Hans-Michael Mühlenfeld et al .: Earache, S2k guideline, German Society for General Medicine and Family Medicine (DEGAM), (accessed September 11, 2019), AWMF
  • A. Lan Schumacher, Georg J. Ledderose, Peter Hahn (ed.), Karl-Joseph Paquet (ed.): Facts ENT, KVM - Der Medizinverlag, 1st edition, 2010
  • Bradley W. Kesser: Ear canal obstruction, MSD Manual, (accessed September 11, 2019), MSD


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