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"What causes itching and runny ears?"

ZocdocAnswersWhat causes itching and runny ears?


My girlfriend complains that her ears itch, and sometimes they seems to run a light fluid, but that might be because she's always scratching and irritating them. Is this some kind of disease? Is it contagious?


Ear problems can come in a few different varieties. If your girlfriend's ears are itching, the first thing I would want to know is if they itch on the outside, or on the inside. If they itch on the outside, then her hear problem is more than likely a skin issue that happens to have shown up on the outside of her ears. In this case, the best type of doctor to see would be a dermatologist. On the other hand, if your girlfriend's problem is on the inside of her ears, then the best type of physician to see would be a primary care physician such as a family doctor. Infections inside the ear can cause ear discomfort and are divided into external otitis (outer ear infections) and otitis media (middle ear infection). External otitis is an infection of the ear canal and can cause severe ear pain and sometimes a white drainage. This is usually treated with antibiotic ear drops. Otitis media is the classic "ear infection" and is an infection behind the ear drum. Typically fluid collects behind the ear drum and in some cases can cause the ear drum to rupture causing the release of fluid. This could be the light colored fluid you see. Take your girlfriend to her doctor and see what he or she says. Hopefully, you get some answers.

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