Medical questions & health advice by licensed doctors
"What causes ears to itch on the inside?"
Sometimes the inside of my ears get itchy. This has been happening ever since I was a young woman (I'm over 40 now), but it does seem like it's been getting worse of late. What causes this? Should I try to clean my ears better to prevent it?
There are a few cause of itching inside the ear; fortunately, these are generally not serious. Doctors who will be qualified to discuss this issue with you include your internal medicine doctor or your family care doctor. The most common cause of itching ears in the absence of other symptoms is likely a problem with ear wax. Ear wax, if it builds up and is present in too large a quantity, can create a sensation of fullness and discomfort in the ear. At the same time, over-cleaning the ear canal with cotton swabs can dry out the skin, also leading to an itching sensation! Occasionally, an itching sensation is due to an infection of the ear canal known as "swimmers ear." Although this condition can be acquired by swimming, it can also be acquired in other ways. It is characterized by itching, pain, and drainage from one or both ears. Simple cases can be managed by cleansing, whereas others will require the prescription of a drop medication by your doctor. As always, the diagnosis and treatment of your specific condition will require a physical examination by your personal physician. Scheduling an office visit with your primary care doctor if these symptoms persist may be advisable.
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