Why Do I Have Itchy Ears?

Having “itchy ears” is a common problem. There are lots of reasons why our ears might itch. Sometimes it’s as simple as dry skin or wax in our ear canals, but it can also be the result of contact dermatitis or seborrheic dermatitis; an infection; irritation from hearing aids or earbuds; or allergies.

In some cases, the itching occurs in the outer part of the ear, while in others, it may be deep inside the ear canal.

For most people, itchy ears can be treated with over-the-counter options. At Associated Audiologists we offer several new solutions that our team has evaluated and found to be very effective.

If the problem is caused by an infection or other medical condition, you will need to see a medical specialist.  An antibiotic or other medication may be necessary to clear up the problem. If your situation is complicated, you may be referred to an ear, nose and throat specialist or a dermatologist for treatment.

Tips to reduce itchy ears:

  • Don’t scratch your ears. The more you scratch, the more you’ll itch and you run the risk of infecting your ears with an unclean object, like your fingernails.
  • Don’t put water or other liquids in your ears, including shampoos and soaps.
  • Don’t overclean your ears.
  • Don’t use cotton swabs, bobby pins, or ear candles to clean your ears or remove earwax. You could scratch or damage the sensitive skin in the ears.
  • Do wash your hands before handling your hearing aids or earbuds.
  • Do wash your outer ear with a warm washcloth, then dry with a soft, clean towel.
  • Do continue to wear your hearing aids unless otherwise instructed by your audiologist or healthcare professional.

If you continue to have problems with “itchy ears,” talk with an audiologist who can examine your ears and determine a possible cause, make recommendations for treatment, or if necessary, make a referral to a medical specialist.

Schedule an appointment with a doctoral-level audiologist.