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Seven Causes of Itchy Ears That Can Be Harmful

There are several things that can cause itchy ears. Although small in size, but the ear plays an important role in everyday human life. Because it is filled with sensitive nerves, if there is a slight disturbance, the ear can give certain reactions, one of which is the onset of itching. Itchy ears are often regarded as normal. In fact, itchy ears can be a sign of a more serious health condition. Knowing the various possible causes can make you better prepared to handle the condition.

Causes of Itchy Ears

Here are some of the causes of itchy ears that you need to know about, including:
  • Ear infections (otitis external)

  • Otitis externa is an infection of the duct that connects the external ear canal to the eardrum. This condition is also called swimmer's ear because it often occurs in adults and children who spend a lot of time swimming. Water left in the ear canal can be a medium for bacterial and fungal propagation. In addition to itching and pain, infection can also cause red and swollen ears. Infection due to damage to the outer layer of the ear can also be caused by scratching wounds, friction by the use of headphones, or cotton buds. One condition that often causes symptoms of itchy ears is an ear fungus infection. This disease often occurs in humid and hot climates, and in people whose ears are often exposed to water. Symptoms can mimic bacterial ear infections, but usually do not improve after treatment with antibiotics.
  • Earwax buildup

  • The body can produce too much earwax, causing a buildup of dirt in the ear canal. This condition is also called serumen prop. Earwax actually plays a role in protecting the inner ear from bacteria and dust. Trying to remove earwax by using cottonbuds, can make earwax actually go deeper into and close the ear canal, causing pain and itching in the ears.
  • Psoriasis

  • Psoriasis is a long-term (chronic) disease that attacks the skin. Symptoms of psoriasis include redness of the rash, thickened skin, peeling, and feeling dry and scaly. These symptoms can appear on any part of the skin including the ears. Psoriasis skin cells develop faster than normal, so dead skin cells accumulate and result in thickened, dry and itchy skin. This condition often occurs in people aged 15-35 years, but also not infrequently found in people aged over 50 years.
  • Dry skin

  • Dry skin on the ear can occur when the ear does not produce enough ear wax as a lubricating agent. In addition to itching, you may also find peeling skin from the ears.
  • Ear canal dermatitis

  • This condition occurs due to inflammation of the skin in and around the ear canal. Generally occurs as an allergic reaction to foreign objects, such as the use of jewelry or beauty products.
  • Use of hearing aids

  • The ear can react allergically to hearing aids used. In addition, this tool can also cause water to get trapped inside the ear.
  • Rhinitis

  • Rhinitis is inflammation of the lining of the nasal cavity that can be seasonal or occur continuously. This condition can be caused by allergies or not. Allergic rhinitis occurs when the body's immune system reacts to foreign objects or allergens (allergens) by releasing histamine. Apart from runny nose and frequent sneezing, itching in the ears and throat can occur.

Handling and Prevention of Itchy Ear

Handling of itchy ears will be adjusted to the cause of the condition. In general, the following ways that can be done to overcome itchy ears, including:
  • If it is caused by the use of beauty products, then its use must be stopped.
  • Avoid inserting objects at risk of ear irritation.
  • Check and regularly clean the ears with ENT doctors, or use ear drops that can be purchased freely. Avoid cleaning it yourself with foreign objects, such as cottonbuds or hair clips.
  • Wear hypo-allergenic jewelry to avoid itching due to allergies.
  • People who swim frequently can wear earplugs or clean the water that enters the ear regularly.
Although generally not dangerous, but immediately consult a doctor if the itchy ears experienced are also accompanied by other symptoms, such as fever, swollen ears, discharge from the ear, ringing in the ears, or there are problems with hearing. As further treatment, ENT (Ear Nose Throat) specialists can prescribe antibiotics in the form of drops or ointments to treat infections, corticosteroids to relieve inflammation, ear drops to soften earwax, or antifungal drugs to treat fungal infections.

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