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"Ears itchy on and off - why?"

ZocdocAnswersEars itchy on and off - why?


Itchy ear for months per day, 4 days. Itch stopped day 1, now back and plugged up. I found online advice use equal parts warm water/white vinegar. Itching relieved instantly, now is back and plugged up. I also had an eye infection for a month, styes I think. 20 minutes after using this ear solution, my eye felt much better and cleared up. Can these two be related in any way? Ear now feels itchy AND plugged up. Will see an ENT doctor. One doctor told me my eustachian tubes never grew from infant size. I am wondering if this is truly possible. Had many, many ear infections as a child, possibly due to being on swim team. Also had a boil burst in one ear, and tubes in my ears as a teen for a while. Just fyi for you. Thank you.


It sounds like your plan to see an ENT specialist is a good one, as there are many possible causes of your symptoms. Definitely eustachian tube dysfunction, where the tubes draining your middle ear down into the back of your throat do not function properly is a possibility. This would cause a "plugged up" feeling in the ears as well as a pressure feeling. Eustachian tube dysfunction would also be more common in someone with your history of multiple ear infections, which could have caused scarring of the middle ear or tubes. Another possibility is a build up of wax inside the outer ear canal. This can definitely be severe enough to cause trouble hearing, and it also very commonly causes an "itchy" sensation inside the ear canal. It is unlikely that your eye infection issue is related to you plugged up ears. However, when you go to see your doctor make sure to mention the eye issue to them as well, as I am sure they will be happy to take a look at that in addition to investigating your ears. Based on what the ENT doctor finds, they will be able to recommend the appropriate treatment. For example, eustachian tube dysfunction can sometimes be improved with medications, and ear wax buildup can be removed in the doctor's office. Good luck!

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