Why do my ears itch?

Advice from expert audiologists



Itchy ears can be caused by many factors from a build-up of earwax to an ear infection. Itchy ears can cause mild to moderate levels of discomfort and anyone who has suffered from itching in the ear canal will know that it can be a very unpleasant sensation.


Our expert audiologists are experts in all things relating to ear health. They have plenty of useful advice when it comes to identifying the causes of itching in the ear canal. They also have several recommendations for preventing and remedying itchy ears.

What causes itchy ears?

Let’s begin by getting to the root of the problem and discover what causes itchy ears.




Earwax build-up

While earwax is your body’s way of cleaning dead skin cells out of the ears to protect the ear, a build-up of earwax can cause the ear canal to itch. Avoid using cotton swabs and use over-the-counter ear drops to break up the wax. If that doesn’t work, book in for a wax removal with one of our wax removal technicians who use the latest technologies to remove wax from the ears.


Bacteria and viruses are both causes of infections and both can cause the ear to itch. People who swim frequently can suffer from a condition known as Swimmers’ Ear, which is caused by the ear canals being overexposed to moisture. Too much moisture in the ear can wear away the ear canal’s natural defence against germs, exposing it to infection.

Dry skin

Your ears can become dry if they don’t produce enough wax and this can cause them to itch. Wax helps to rid the ear of dirt and bacteria and it also lubricates the ear canal to protect against dryness.

Ear canal dermatitis

Ear canal dermatitis can cause the inner ear to become dry and inflamed due to allergies. People can be allergic to things like metal in earrings or personal care products. People can also develop eczematoid dermatitis, which can cause the ears to itch if they are affected by the condition.


Are itchy ears linked to allergies?


Allergies are one of the biggest causes of itchy ears. When exposed to high pollen environments, those affected by hay fever may suffer from itchy ears as a symptom. Pollen can be ingested as well as inhaled and people suffering from a pollen allergy may also experience itching in the ears after eating certain foods such as nuts and fruits. Food allergies can also trigger itchiness in the ears. People with allergies to soy, wheat, milk, nuts and shellfish all identify itchy ears as a symptom of allergen exposure. Metals in earrings and some self-care products can also trigger allergic reactions that can result in itchy ears.


Treatments for itchy ears


Always consult your doctor if you are concerned about itchy ears. Over-the-counter ear drops are usually prescribed to break up ear wax. They cause the wax to dissipate and work its way out of the ear by itself. Drops can also offer relief for dryness in the ear canal. Doctors no longer prescribe ear drops for ear infections, but they will prescribe alternative medications where necessary. Ear drops should never be used where there is a hole or perforation in the ear drum.There are also some useful home remedies which are recommended for treating itchy ears which you can see here.


If a build-up of wax is the reason your ears itch, our wax removal technicians can help by extracting the wax from your ear canal.

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How to prevent itchy ears


While you may think that inserting something into the ear will help to alleviate itching, it is in fact harmful for your ears. Never use cotton swabs or balls in your ear canal as they can dislodge earwax and move it further into the ear canal causing. Aim to keep your ears clean and healthy by adhering to the following guidelines.



 Book in for a wax removal today!



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Written by: Sarah Sheehan, Chief Audiologist, ISHAA Member
Sarah Sheehan is an esteemed member of our HR, L&D and Compliance Department, who joined Hidden Hearing in 2018 as an audiologist. Sarah’s career has seen her work in a wide range of areas within the company and she is committed to providing education about audiology and keeping abreast of current audiology trends.