Having an itch in your ear can be very annoying. Knowing the cause can help in finding a remedy. This is a guide about causes for ear itching.
By makenzie 1
What's wrong with me if my ears itch?
By guest (Guest Post) Flag
September 23, 2006
My doctor said that pain or itching in ears is sometimes caused by teeth problems. See a dentist.
By guest (Guest Post) Flag
November 5, 2008
I have had numerous ear problems my whole life with chronic ear infections being the root cause of my problem. Ear and fungal infections can both cause itchiness in the ear. It is important that you see an ENT to diagnose what you have because treatment is different for ear infections and fungal infections. Ciprodex can help if you have an ear infection. However, I had used Ciprodex on a fungal infection and it made my ear very wet and itchy and much worse. It was eventually cured with a violet (purple-ish) liquid that an ENT can put in your ear with a special swab. It requires about 3-4 applications. I suggest you speak to your ENT about this. It is important to know what you have before treating it.
January 14, 2009
I have just gone to an ENT for that specific problem. He said it is dryness and to NOT use peroxide, as it is drying. Use a drop or two of sweet oil or olive oil. It works. Do not use cotton buds or anything in the ear as you can experience an injury very easily. I know.
November 7, 2009
You could possibly have an infection in there. It's not like an inner ear infection where you have to take antibiotics for 10 days. I used to get infections a lot when I was a kid. For me, it was caused by bacteria in the public pool that I went to a lot during the summer. See your doc.
Bed time for me is a time for ringing noises and itching ears. What could be the cause? One thing I have and suffer from is that my ear builds up lots of wax, which means I get my ears cleaned every year. I never had the disco and dancers in my ear until this year.
By King from Dublin, Ireland
February 21, 2014
Usually the ringing is not related to ear wax. It is called tinnitus and is one of the joys of getting older. The trick is to just forget about it and not let it annoy you.
I already had tympanoplasty surgery in my right ear, but it failed for some reason. Now in my right ear dry itching comes very often and to stop that I am using ear buds. I want to know what may be the reasons for this itchiness in my right ear and how can I stop that?
August 26, 2013
Hi I'm 17 who also had hearing aids. Yes my ears do itch too. It is not cause of your ear buds, it could be the wax in the middle of your ear canal that made your ear itch. I recommend go to an ENT to get it out they use a special ear vac to suck the ear wax out. If still itch try to drop baby oil with a dropper in your ears let them in for overnight and flush then with the blue tube thing that they have in the ears wax drop box and flush the wax out in the morning.
I have been having this problem over the years. My ears are very itching especially when wet. I can't stop scratching it with my finger or with the cotton puds. I need help please, it's annoying me all of the time.
By Sal from Australia
April 20, 2013
First thing to do is see a doctor. You write that your ears itch more when wet and that is usually a sign of either fungus, chronic infection or impacted ear wax.
If it's a fungus or chronic infection, antibiotics will clear it up, and your GP will also give you information on keeping the condition from recurring. And if it's ear wax, your GP can safely remove excess wax with equipment in his/her office. Btw, if it is ear wax, the cotton buds are only making it worse by pushing the wax deeper into the ear canal.
If the GP visit doesn't solve it (and it more than likely will), try using a non-sulfate shampoo. You'll have to read a lot of labels to find the ones that don't have any ingredients containing the word sulfate (example: sodium laurel sulfate).
Long story short I suffered incredibly itchy ears and scalp for decades-GP couldn't figure it out, sent me to all manner of specialists but nothing helped. That was in the US and they all called it eczema but after moving to the UK my new GP said to try non-sulfate shampoo and body wash. My ears never itched again from the first use. My scalp is clear too.
How to stop my ears from itching? I was diagnosed with an ear infection in both ears last week. I have been taking antibiotics and using ears drops that have been prescribed, however my ears are still itching. What can I do to stop the itching and how soon will the meds kick in?
May 29, 2015
Not too sure what to do to stop the itching, but I will share about my own itching issue here, and perhaps you can gain some insight: Most of my life, I had ear itching quite frequently. Sometimes it drove me nuts. About 10 years ago, I found out I have quite a few allergies, among them dairy. When I don't have dairy, my ears never itch. When I do, they itch from the dairy, and some of the other things I am allergic to as well, including pollens and grasses. Long story short, the itching is likely a reaction to something, and it is somewhat possible that your infection could have been caused by an over-production of wax that couldn't drain fast enough, from allergy as well.
What makes the ear to itch that ends up irritating it?
By Sebeo from Botswana, Molepolole
February 24, 2015
You picking at it, digging in it?
I have had itchy ears for some time now and the last time I visited an ENT I was given antibiotics and it stop for almost a year and now it has started again. Please what might be the cause of it? Thank you.
By Jenny from Accra, Ghana
July 30, 2013
If the antibiotics stopped the itch for a year, it sounds as though what ever conditions caused the itch in the first place have caused it again.
You live in Ghana which is a tropical country, is it possible the environmental conditions there have exposed you to a fungus? Tropical countries are wonderful places to live but unfortunately come with lots of fungal infection conducive conditions.
For example, I lived in Guatemala for 2.5 years and on my return to the USA it took my doctor several years to figure out I had picked up a fungal infection whilst in Central America. The antibiotics would clear it up enough to stop the horrible itch but then as soon as it got warm and humid (I was living in the US Deep South) the fungal infection would flare up and I would be back in the doctor's office.
He thought I had recurring ear infections and didn't think to test me for a tropical fungus until I read something in a travel magazine and took the article to him. Once the test results came back I was put on the right medication and while I had to take the meds for close to two years, the fungus was cleared and I'm fine now.
Perhaps you might ask your doctor to test you for a fungus. The test is painless: the doctor gently scrapes the area where the itch is worse to gather several samples of dead skin cells. He/she then either cultures the samples in the clinic lab or sends the samples to a centralised lab for culturing and a diagnosis. The results take about two weeks to come back.
The proper medication to completely clear the fungus may need to be taken for as long as 6-12 months but is very much worth it!
I was diagnosed with swimmers ear on Friday, and ever since I started taking the antibiotics my ears have been itching like crazy, to the extent where it's kept me up all night. Could I be allergic to the medicine? I've had swimmers ear before and usually it's a relief to out in the drops, but now it makes them feel worse.
August 26, 2013
Try the Hyland's earache drop it also calm the ears for cold and flu, swimmer's ear, and allergy. Also it soothes itchy ears.
I get this terrible itching
and tickling going on inside my ear, mostly in my right ear and every now and then in the
other ear as well. It just drives me nuts. I know I should just go see my Dr., but I thought
I'd ask here first. It doesn't appear that I have wax in my ear, although, it could be way
inside. I did try putting some hydrogen peroxide, but that didn't do anything, nothing came
Debbie52 from IL
I had something similar, I swore there was a bug in my ear, but the Dr. said it was an
infection. I hate the feeling of wetness in my ears after a shower and washing my hair so used
swabs to dry them, a no-no. That caused my infection. Now I use a a liquid dryer made
especially for ears. (04/26/2006)
I had that, and sometimes with just a little clear watery discharge when sleeping. The Dr.
diagnosed my problem as eczema, probably allergy induced. I was prescribed an anti-
inflammatory and anti-itch ointment that I apply as needed,which is only once or twice a week for
An Audiologist once told me that if a person uses Q-tip swabs all the time to clean his ears
(the wax was meant to lubricate the ear canal) and removes all the wax, the canal will dry out
and cause terrible itching. Then, they'll keep using the Q-tips to scratch the ear canal,
which might cause an irritation. The Q-tips will also compact the wax at the end of the canal
against the ear drum. Infection is usually in the inner ear, not the canal, although you can
get "swimmer's ear" which is a fungal problem in the canal. Peroxide will soften wax in the
canal. You'll know if some is there cause it will fizz a lot.
If you continue to have problems, I'd say to see a doctor, but most have few audiology
classes. Do you have a college near-by that has a Speech-Language pathology department? If so,
make an appointment to see their Audiologist. The cost at these schools is minimal since
they're teaching schools. If you need a referral or medication, they can usually take care of
that cheap too. (04/27/2006)
Allergies will cause ears to itch. See your doctor. (04/27/2006)
I had the same problem. Went to the Dr. and I had a single strand of hair sitting on my ear
drum. He took it right out and it was instant relief. (04/29/2006)
By Kim H.
Several years ago, I complained to my doctor about the itchy ear. He said I probably have
swimmer's ear and suggested two things. The first thing was to use a blue syringe (the ones
the hospital gives you to clean out baby's noses after delivering a baby) and fill it with
warm water and spray the water in your ears. I spray each ear twice at the end of my shower.
The second thing is to put rubbing alcohol (75% strength) in my ear to dry up the water or any
liquid in my ear.
I have been doing this for many years regularly, and I have had a minimal number of
problems. I realize that if you have allergies, this idea won't help. But for those who have
swimmer's ear, it will help. (05/23/2006)
My doctor said that pain or itching in ears is sometimes caused by teeth problems. See a
I have lots of allergies and also get a terrible itch inside my ears, on my palate, and behind
my nose. It's definitely allergies in my case, usually caused by stress, exposure to
cats/dogs, and using a Q-tip to clean out the wax. I have found that gargling with Listerine,
full strength (any flavor), a few times a day really helps. Sometimes the relief is instant.
The alcohol must do something to the mucous membranes. (11/07/2006)
I've always found relief for itchy ears by using one or the other of the following OTC stuff:
1% hydrocortisone cream; tea tree oil (fights fungus but smells bad!);
jojoba oil (a good, natural moisturizer); and a concoction I got off the Internet that
combines hydrocortisone, aloe vera and tea tree oil. I think it's called Ear Itch Relief cream
from medpure.com. (02/19/2007)
I've suffered with itchy ears almost all my life, (since 8). I've been to ENT thinking it was
an allergy. He prescribed a medication that helped, but no real relief. Later I had my primary
care doc give me an allergen test. I tested negative. What a shocker, I'm not allergic to
This year I went to the dermatologist for the severe dandruff problem that I've suffered
with. To make a long story short. The itching in my ears is caused by ear dandruff. (Sounds
crazy I know.) My ears are extremely dry inside and to my surprise, your ears can develop
dandruff just like my scalp. The Dermatologist gave me samples for an ear drop called DermOtic
Oil, it works. It stops the itch almost instantly. I go back on Thursday 10/18/2007, I will
ask for a prescription. If interested, here's the web site for the product <a
I suffer from itchy right ear ans some times in the left ear. Whatever happens you mustn't use
a cotton bud, the wax in your ear is a good thing, when it builds up it actuality stops the
itchiness. If you take out th wax your ear becomes dry and the itchiness will get worse. Let
the wax build up and your itchy will reduce. (01/17/2008)
By Terry T.
I went to a new dermatologist for the itchy ear problem. I've used Dermotic drops for the past
year, and some other ointment prior to that. The new dermatologist suggested using a dandruff
shampoo on a Q-tip and putting that in the ear canal every couple of days. I have to say
within a couple of days I had a lot of relief. My right ear has been fine and my left ear only
needs the Dermotic oil once in awhile. He did warn that too much use of the Dermotic or other
ointments could thin the membranes in the ear.
He gave me a sample of Loprox shampoo (a prescription), but said that Head and Shoulders or
any other dandruff shampoo may work as well. So far so good. This is the most relief I have
had in probably eight years. Hope this can help someone. My first dermatologist never
mentioned any of this to me. (01/19/2008)
I was having the itching ear as well as sinus infections quite frequently. Was referred to a
product from Now Foods called Candida Clear. Not expensive, one or two capsules a day has made
a world of difference in both problems. (06/11/2008)
I am so glad I into this website. I live in Denver and has always been healthy. I'm 36. About
a year ago I started having this ear itch. I went to my regular Dr. who told me it was eczema
and he gave me triamcinolone acetonide. It did not cure my problem. I went to a ENT Dr. he was
no help. He said to try vinegar or baby oil. The only way I get relief is to use hydocortison
2.5 lotion mixed with baby oil. (09/03/2008)
By looking at all the feedback, its seems like this is problem for a lot of
people. I have always had problems with my left ear growing up. I was constantly having ear
aches and had my eardrum rupture a couple of times. Now I am 29 and went to an ENT because of
mild hearing loss and a mild itching sensation. It turns out there was accumulation of fluid
in my inner ear. (This could be a possible reason why some of you have the same itching
sensation). What the ENT conducted to relieve my problems was the Politzer Manuever, pretty
much popping your ears. Doing this every morning helped with the itchiness in my ears and
could help many of you. If you do have problems popping your own ears, there a device out
there called the Earpopper. (09/09/2008)
I use Similisan earache relief drops when my ears itch inside like crazy. It really gives me
relief from the itching. <a href ="http://www.similasanusa.com/products-earache-
You probably have a fungal infection, it's like athlete's foot of the ear. You can go to CVS
and get over the counter anti-fungal drops active ingredient 1% Clotrimazole and put 4 drops
in your itchy ear each day. It may get warm in your ear, this is OK. Fungal infections take a
long time to heal but be patient. Hope this helps you out. (10/23/2008)
I have had numerous ear problems my whole life with chronic ear infections being the root
cause of my problem. Ear and fungal infections can both cause itchiness in the ear. It is
important that you see an ENT to diagnose what you have because treatment is different for ear
infections and fungal infections. Ciprodex can help if you have an ear infection. However, I
had used Ciprodex on a fungal infection and it made my ear very wet and itchy and much worse.
It was eventually cured with a violet (purple-ish) liquid that an ENT can put in your ear with
a special swab. It requires about 3-4 applications. I suggest you speak to your ENT about
this. It is important to know what you have before treating it. (11/05/2008)
I have just gone to an ENT for that specific problem. He said it is dryness and to "not" use
peroxide, as it is drying. Use a drop or two of sweet oil or olive oil. It works. Do not
use cotton buds or anything in the ear as you can experience an injury very easily. I know.
I've been using Elocon cream once a week for 20 years now. Works like a charm. (02/04/2009)
I've been suffering from itchy ears for 2 years now. It is worse at night time and once in a
while I have clear discharges. The medications that the doctors prescribed did not work. I am
tired of being awake. I use Q-tips in the morning and at bedtime to scratch my itchy ears
daily. I've been using ear plugs when I take shower and my ears still itches. Then just the
other day, I finally decided to mix 2 tbsp warm vinegar and 2 tbsp isoprophyl alcohol and
pour 10 drops to my ears. My ears felt funny for 12 hrs (imagine the fluid in your ears) then
after 12 hrs my ears got better and haven't touched anymore Q-tips. No more itchy ears for me.
I've had the same problems discussed here for about 15 months--itching and irritation of my
left ear. After an MRI, a hearing test, two different ear, nose and throat specialists and a
dermatologist couldn't figure it out to my satisfaction, I finally decided to go to Johns
Hopkins University to see another ENT. He looked in my ears, told me my troublesome ear had
no wax in it, so it had no protections to fight off bacteria, bugs, itching, etc. and that
earwax was not a waste product to be removed or messed with via fingers, oils, Q-tips, creams,
ointments, etc. He said nothing should go in your ear, even water, for 8 weeks til the wax
re-forms. I'm working on week 3 and it occasionally itches bad, but I'm confident this will
finally work. Hope this helps. (04/27/2009)
My elderly mom uses "Miracell Calm Ear" and so I tried it, and it works great. <a
I have had this itchy ear problem for almost a year. With allergy season here it it has been
worse than ever. My doctor tells me to take Claritin as it is all related to sinus issues.
That doesn't help this incessant itch that is waking me up at night.
Here is what I have found to help. Mix half Lotrimin cream with half over the counter
hydrocortisone cream and using a Q-tip gently deposit the mixture into the car canal 3-4 times
a day. So far this is the only thing that given me any relief.
Why can't doctors come up with something to rid us of this annoying problem? (09/11/2009)
I suffered with this kind of thing for years. I would have allergies that started with itchy
ear drums and inner ears. I tried Zyrtec and would keep symptoms down with Benadryl.
But eventually I discovered that my body had changed, and the problem was that I wasn't
getting enough water. I've been fine for a year now; as long as I stay hydrated (Drink even
when I'm not really thirsty) the problems are gone. If I go to bed without a drink though,
you can be sure I'll wake up in the night. (09/12/2009)
I also suffer from itchy canals. I just wanted to add that my ears don't develop much wax
since I went through a full course of Acutane for acne. At first my ears itched, so I lubed
them with Vaseline. Then a physician or pharmacist told me it will trap bacteria, so he
recommended Bacitracin ointment USP. RX told me that bacteria will not grow in that
environment. Used it for 20 plus years.
Somehow I picked up the itch and I wore ear plugs for work everyday and rotated out the
dirty plugs. If its fungal, I will find out soon. I've been using benadryl cream and
benadryl tablets because I have some food dye allergies.
One more thing. I found out my ear ringing was from an irritated eliocecal [sp] valve that
connects large and small intestine. I gave up the frito lay chips and in two weeks my ears
stopped ringing. The E valve remains open for too long and will cause the ears to ring. It
can be massaged with hand pressure lower right below the belly button but don't use a lot of
pressure or you could tear the facia lining under your skin. Coffee and other roughage can
cause it too.
Good luck. (09/24/2009)
I get this terrible itching and tickling going on inside my ear, mostly in my right ear and every now and then in the other ear as well. It just drives me nuts. I know I should just go see my Dr., but I thought I'd ask here first. It doesn't appear that I have wax in my ear, although, it could be way inside. I did try putting some hydrogen peroxide, but that didn't do anything, nothing came out.
Debbie52 from IL
My inner ears often itch, one or the other, especially when I sleep on my side, and sometimes wakes me. It does drive me crazy and I've tried Q-tips and banning Q-tips. After over a year of looking into this and asking my doctor, who says it will probably just resolve itself, this is what I've found from the Dear Dr. Donohue newspaper column:
Seborrheic dermatitis is a chronic and often relapsing skin condition in areas of the skin with a large supply of oil glands. It can affect the area within the ear canal. Oil glands give the condition its name, but they aren't the source of trouble. A fungus whose name is Malassezia is. It produces byproducts that irritate and inflame the skin. Many otc shampoos and lotions can be quite effective against this fungus (if it manifests on the scalp or skin), but sometimes prescription medicated treatments are needed. Ketaconazole is an example. Selenium sulfide shampoo also works. Nonprescription brands of this material have a lower concentration of it than do the prescription preparations, which contain 2.5 percent selenium sulfide. It may take the stronger medications to do in the fungus.
Hope this helps. I'm pretty sure mine is the result of swimming in a dirty lake, as that gave me the pink eye that started at the same time. I'm going to try GNC today for any anti-fungicide treatment they may have as my doctor just brushed me off. (10/30/2009)
I get inner ear sores, and have constant itching and tickling in the same ear. Can you help me with this problem?
By Steph from Hot Springs, AR
You could possibly have an infection in there. It's not like an inner ear infection where you have to take antibiotics for 10 days. I used to get infections a lot when I was a kid. For me, it was caused by bacteria in the public pool that I went to a lot during the summer. See your doc. (11/07/2009)
I would try looking on earthclinic.com I use it quite a bit. The one remedy I know that should be safe and hopefully effective would be to rinse the ear with hydrogen peroxide. More specific instructions are on earthclinic. Also, garlic oil can be very effective against infections. Good luck. (11/07/2009)
By Gina J.
That's what's known as "swimmer's ear". Here's the cure: mix white, or preferably cider vinegar, 50/50 with rubbing alcohol. Once or twice a week, pour some of this mixture into each ear, and then drain. Put a part of a cotton ball in your outer ear, to catch the excess. This will stop the problem. The alcohol dries out any excess water that may be trapped in your ear canal; the vinegar will restore the PH balance that may be thrown off by any soap products, which allows bacteria to live in your ear, and cause the itching and tickling, as well as the sores.
I used to get swimmer's ear, and had to use the ear drops that the doctor prescribed until I ran across an article that suggested the 50/50 method. It works, it's cheap, and you don't have to come up with a co-pay to get it. Good luck.
I found some great tips on this site. I am posting to give back. I had an ear itch for about month. I saw an ENT who gave me Ciprodex drops, didn't help. Any itchiness or pain in the ear is a horrible feeling. Ear itch can be caused by bacterial or fungal infection or allergic reactions.
I tried Ciprodex drops (antibiotics) didn't help. I usually have bad allergies so I thought it was allergic. Don't use Q-tips. I took Clartin daily. I still was itchy in both ears.
Finally, I mixed some olive oil and clotrimazole 1% (Lotrimin cream) dropped a few drops last night. Relief. Just put the olive oil in a disposable mini cup and mix with a Q-tip. Then use the Q-trip to drop the solution in your ear. Don't stick the Q-tip in your ear, this will only make things worse. Hold your ear flap and shake with your head tilted. The ENT will show you how to do this. This will make sure the solution goes down your ear canal. You might just want to try olive oil first.
Anyways go to to the ENT first. I tried the other solutions because my 2 ENT visits and 1 ER visit didn't provide much relief. With any home remedy just try a little at first, ears are very sensitive. (12/15/2009)
I've had itchy ears for almost two years and finally saw a doctor for it. My ears itch so bad I have to scratch them and then they bleed, are sore, and ooze fluid. It drove me nuts. The itch even woke me up at night.
My doctor told me to buy these over the counter meds. Tinactin (yes, for feet), hydrocortizone cream 1%, and Neosporin. Mix these three meds together and apply generously with a Q-tip. I applied it twice a day, and am still using it for another 5 days just to make sure it's totally healed. I started using this a week ago, and the itch is finally gone. I was told it was a kind of yeast infection of the ears. Hope this helps. (01/25/2010)