You are in a meeting, speaking well and listening attentively, when all of a sudden your ear itch starts bugging you. Your fingers tickle and become restless to reach out to your ears and get rid of the annoying itching sensation. As time passes on, the itching grows intense and you go nuts and batty. You only wait for the meeting to end so that you find a proper place to take down that itch. Imagine this happening to you now and then...
What is the Treatment?
Here's what you can do...
☞ One effective remedy is to pour some drops of mineral oil, olive oil or other vegetable oil into the bad ear. It gives relief from the itching and irritation within minutes.
☞ Bugs could create problems when they get inside the ear canal. To get them out of it, what you can do is squirt some warm water into the ear canal using a rubber bulb syringe. Dropping a few drops of mineral oil or even alcohol also helps as it will kill the bug. Once the bug is dead, it will float to the surface. If not, then you must consider the help of a doctor to have it removed.
☞ If earwax is causing the problem, then just lie down, placing a warm hot-water bottle beneath the affected ear. The warmth will melt down the wax and encourage drainage.
☞ An over-the-counter hydrocortisone lotion of half percent strength is effective in reducing the itch in the ear canal. Apply the lotion to the affected ear carefully with the twisted end of a clean handkerchief. If in case, this over-the-counter medicine does not work, then you may want to go for a prescription-based one.
☞ If swimmer's ear is causing the problem, then the treatment would include eardrops prescribed by a doctor. The medicine could be a combination of acidic solution, antibiotics, steroids and antifungal infection, depending upon the type and severity of the infection.
Why is it Happening to You?
✔ People who are into water sports or who take frequent trips to their swimming pool, have a high risk of contracting bacterial infection; swimmer's ear being the most common. It is triggered by the moist environment in the canal which favors bacterial growth. Besides, itchy ear canal, its other common symptoms include ear discharge (could be watery or yellowish with a foul smell), redness, pain and tenderness in the ear, and temporary hearing loss.
✔ Skin disorders or diseases such as eczema, seborrheic dermatitis and psoriasis are commonly known to affect the ear canals, causing them to itch and irritate. Some of these medical conditions may also cause pronounced blockage and scaling of the canals, which may further cause hearing problems.
✔ Food allergy or other allergens could also be a possible cause, and in this case the itch is accompanied by irritated and watery eyes. If the ear canal itches and is dry at the same time, then this might point to inadequate production of earwax. However, even excess production or accumulation of wax in the ears may cause itching and irritation. In such a case, a person may feel a fullness in his ears, and notice a reduction in his hearing.
✔ Although not so common, tiny insects or bugs may make their way into the ear canal and cause itching and irritation. This usually happens during the warmer months, or while sleeping on the floor, where insects keep lurking around.
As a concluding note, if your ear canal is itching because of some infection, then while the patient is recovering he/she could follow a few steps to speed up recovery. Flying, swimming or other water sports must be refrained from, and ears must be protected from coming in contact with water when bathing. Also, it is better to stop using instruments like hearing aid, headphones or earplug until the person recovers from the infection.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.