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Causes of Ear Itching

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A man scratching his ear.

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.



Here are questions related to Causes of Ear Itching.

Question: What might be causing an itchy ear?

What's wrong with me if my ears itch?

By Makenzie


Best Answers

By Barbara Pope [10]11/07/2009

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.

Best Answers

By Betty [13]01/14/2009

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.

Best Answers

By Guest (Guest Post)11/05/2008

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.

Best Answers

By Maggie (Guest Post)09/23/2006

My doctor said that pain or itching in ears is sometimes caused by teeth problems. See a dentist.

Question: Remedy for Ringing and Itching Ears

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


Best Answers

By Louise B. [5]02/21/2014

Perhaps you need your ears cleaned more often. I would start with that. If that doesn't help, see a doctor.

Best Answers

By Lizzyanny [9]02/21/2014

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.

Question: Remedy for Ear Itching

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?

By John

Most Recent Answer

By An T.08/26/2013

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.

Question: Treating Itchy Ears

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

Most Recent Answer

By Frugal Sunnie [11]04/20/2013

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.

Question: Remedy for Itchy Ears

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?

    By jacquelyne35 [1]

    Most Recent Answer

    By Kat [7]05/29/2015

    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.

    Question: Causes and Remedy for Itchy Ear

    What makes the ear to itch that ends up irritating it?

    By Sebeo from Botswana, Molepolole

    Most Recent Answer

    By Jessica Married'too T.02/24/2015

    You picking at it, digging in it?

    Question: Remedy for Itchy Ears

    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

    Most Recent Answer

    By Frugal Sunnie [11]07/30/2013

    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!

    Question: Itchy Ears After Using Medication for Swimmer's Ear

    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.

    By Posy

    Most Recent Answer

    By An T.08/26/2013

    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.

    Solutions: Causes of Ear Itching

    Do you have knowledge about this guide topic? Feel free to share a solution!


    Thrifty Fun has been around so long that many of our pages have been reset several times. Archives are older versions of the page and the feedback that was provided then.

    Archive: What might be causing an itchy ear?

    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.


    Archive: What might be causing an itchy ear?

    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

    RE: What might be causing an itchy ear?

    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)

    By nameburns

    Archive: What might be causing an itchy ear?

    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

    RE: What might be causing an itchy ear?

    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)

    By crazyliblady

    RE: What might be causing an itchy ear?

    I would try looking on 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.

    RE: What might be causing an itchy ear?

    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.

    Heather (11/07/2009)

    By leopardstripes

    RE: What might be causing an itchy ear?

    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.


    • bacterial - Ciprodex drops (go to the ENT)
    • allergic - try a dab of hydrocortisone, outside the ear canal. Or you can try olive oil. Olive oil is pretty good by itself.
    • fungus - Vosol drops (acidifying drops). There is also a home remedy of 1 part vinegar: 1 part water. Or my mixture above.
    • Do not get water in your ear.
    • Use ear plugs when you take a shower.

    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)

    By sk55

    RE: What might be causing an itchy ear?

    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)