How to Treat an Itchy Ear Canal

Learn why your ear itches, how to stop it, and how to prevent your ear(s) from itching in the future.
Learn why your ear itches, how to stop it, and how to prevent your ear(s) from itching in the future.

There is nothing more irritating and distracting than an itch in your ear. Anyone who has ever suffered from this common ailment knows how frustrating it is.

It seems as though the only feeling of relief comes from scratching or probing with fingers or q-tips. While this may bring temporary comfort, it is actually a very harmful way to tackle the problem. Thankfully there are plenty of safe ways to make your ear canals itch-free zones.

Don't let this get the better of you. In this article, we'll take a look at some of the best treatments and the preventative actions you can take to ensure that your ears stay itch-free in future.

What Is an Itchy Ear?

An itchy ear canal is often the result of an inflamed or flaky skin condition that happens when the sensitive skin inside the ear becomes damaged, waterlogged or infected with bacteria or fungus.

Medical professionals refer to it as Otitis Externa. Along with the itching sensation, symptoms can include dry flaky skin, soreness, pain, and a watery discharge that emits an odor.

The condition is pretty common and won't endanger your hearing. In fact, the biggest threat to your hearing comes from the use of objects that you might use to scratch inside your ear. If you're guilty of this, stop now.

Scratching will only serve to inflame the delicate skin inside the ear which will actually increase the itching sensation even more—it's a vicious cycle. Furthermore you could seriously damage your eardrum, either by rupturing it or by inadvertently packing earwax tightly against it.

Before determining the best source of treatment, it's important to familiarize yourself with some of the causes. This will help you to identify how the problem started in the first place. Read on to find out what these causes are.

Common Causes

Shampoo, hair products, cotton balls, and/or cotton swabs may be causing your ears to itch.
Shampoo, hair products, cotton balls, and/or cotton swabs may be causing your ears to itch.

There are many reasons why you might have an itch in your ear. Here are some of the main culprits:

  1. Fungal infections. Are you prone to fungal infections in other parts of your body, such as your feet or groin area? It is possible for fungus to infect the ear canal too.
  2. Skin conditions. Do you suffer from any other skin complaints such as eczema or psoriasis? Unfortunately, skin conditions like these can easily spread to the ear canal.
  3. Swimming. Swimmers tend to be in the high-risk category for developing an itchy ear. So, if you swim regularly this is something to watch out for. Water can carry germs and fungus into the ear which can then lead to infection, especially if the skin inside the ear is broken or damaged. Swimming can also create excess moisture which then causes eczema.
  4. Q-tips or cotton buds. Using q-tips or cotton buds a big no-no. The ear is well equipped to clean itself, but if you find that wax or other debris is persistently present in your ears, there are safer and more productive ways to clean them. The problem with using q-tips is that you risk damaging the soft skin inside the ear. This is an open invitation for bacteria to invade.
  5. Weather conditions. Weather conditions, namely warmer temperatures, may be causing your itchy ears. Do you live somewhere with a hot and humid climate? The increased water in the air raises your chances of developing an infection. Fungal infections in particular thrive in warm, humid conditions.
  6. Hair or bath products. Do you regularly use products such as hairspray, shampoo, shower gel, bubble bath, styling gel, or hair dye? The residue from these products can easily wash inside the ear during a bath or shower and cause irritation which leads to itching.
  7. Allergies. Do you suffer from allergies (namely dust, food products, pets, or pollen)? The histamine release that is triggered by the allergen and causes a runny nose and red puffy eyes might also be responsible for the itch in your ear canal.

Treatment and Prevention

Mixing a solution of white vinegar and rubbing alcohol is a good home remedy for the itch in your ears.
Mixing a solution of white vinegar and rubbing alcohol is a good home remedy for the itch in your ears.

Although an outer ear infection or itchy ear canal will sometimes clear up by itself, it is a problem that can often be stubborn and persistent. The best approach is to think about

  • How you are going to treat it and also
  • How you will prevent it from happening again.

Treatment falls into two stages:

  1. Stopping the itch, and
  2. Clearing up the infection or skin condition.

Firstly, it is recommended that you consult your doctor so that she can clean your ear if necessary and prescribe ear drops. Your doctor might also take a swab of your ear canal to determine whether fungus is present. Results from a swab usually take a few days to come back.

  • Ear drops will contain a minimum of two active ingredients: 1. An ingredient such as hydrocortisone that will quickly subdue the itching and any resultant swelling, and 2. An antibiotic to kill the bacteria which causes the infection.
  • If you are diagnosed with having a fungal infection, your doctor might also prescribe anti-fungal drops or ointment as well.
  • Whilst using ear drops prescribed by your doctor, you can start to take preventative measures to ensure that the itch and/or infection does not return (see below). Just because the ear drops have cleared up the problem, don't assume that it is incapable of coming back. Preventative action is an on-going process and the more vigilant you are, the greater chance you have of keeping your ear canal itch-free.

Note: It also recommended that you don't become overly reliant on pharmaceutical ear drops in the long-term. Although they can work wonders at fighting the infection and stopping your ear canal from irritating you, long-term use should be avoided because they can be a little harsh for the sensitive skin in the ear. Once the itch has gone and your treatment has finished, seek out natural alternatives to prescription ear drops, such as olive oil. More on this later.

Home Remedies

For mild-to-moderate ear infections, especially those where pain is not a serious issue, you might want to try a home remedy before resorting to prescription drugs.

  • Rubbing alcohol and white vinegar.

One common method involves mixing one part rubbing alcohol with one part white vinegar (a 50:50 split). Use a pipette, dipper, or teaspoon and let the solution run into your ear by tilting your head to the side. Keep it inside for a few seconds before letting it drain back out onto a paper towel.

The alcohol and acetic acid in the vinegar will go to work on the infection and also help to clean your ear. Don't overuse this method because it can dry out the ear which will lead to more itching. Simply apply it once or twice a day until the infection has cleared.

  • Olive oil, coconut oil and garlic oil.

Olive oil and coconut oil are also great natural alternatives to ear drops. Olive oil can even be infused with garlic for a natural antibiotic and anti-fungal solution.

You can opt to make these home remedies yourself or you can take the hassle-free route and buy them readymade.

Don't Want to Make it Yourself?

Herb Pharm Mullein/Garlic Herbal Ear Oil - 1 Ounce
Herb Pharm Mullein/Garlic Herbal Ear Oil - 1 Ounce

Garlic infused oil is a popular choice in treating itchy and/or infected ears. Garlic is a natural antibiotic that also has antifungal properties. If you don't want the hassle of making it yourself, you can pick up a bottle of Herb Pharm's Mullein & Garlic Herbal Oil for around $10.



Letting a couple drops of olive oil into your ears (and then back out onto a paper towel) may help prevent itchy ears in the future.
Letting a couple drops of olive oil into your ears (and then back out onto a paper towel) may help prevent itchy ears in the future.

Take these precautions to lower the risk of developing an itchy canal again in future:

  1. Prevent excess liquid from entering. When showering or taking a bath, gently place a small amount of clean cotton ball over the entrance to your ears to prevent excessive water and bathing products such as bubble bath from getting inside. Be careful not to push the cotton too deeply and avoid it completely if you find that it irritates your skin.
  2. Purchase a swimming headband. If you go swimming, think about buying a swimming headband to keep your ears dry and free from the threat of fungus and bacteria. If you do get water inside your ear, try to drain it out by tilting your head to the side. As a last resort, you can use a hairdryer, providing you place it on the lowest setting and hold it about 50cm away from your ear. Do not use a hairdryer if the skin in your ear is broken or sore.
  3. Use olive oil in your ears. Clean your ears and prevent wax build up by using a little olive oil. Simply tip a small amount of olive oil onto a spoon, tilt your head to one side and let the oil run into your ear (if you find this difficult, you can ask somebody to help you or you could buy a dropper/pipette from your local drug store or chemist for a couple of dollars). Let the oil settle in your ear for a few minutes then tilt your head back up and let the excess oil drain out onto a paper towel. Repeat the process with the other ear and do this on a regular basis - maybe two or three nights every week before going to bed.The oil will also help to moisturize your ear canals and sooth the skin.
  4. Drain earwax. If you find that excess wax builds up inside your ears and the olive oil trick doesn't work, visit your doctor regularly so he can drain the wax. You can also buy wax-softening ear drops from your drugstore or chemist, but use these sparingly.
  5. Protect your ears in the shower or bath. This especially applies to products you use while showering or bathing. Try to you avoid getting shampoo, hairspray, bubble bath, shower gel, or other chemical irritants into your ears.
  6. Be gentle with your ears. Always remember that the skin inside your ears is delicate and easily irritated. Never put anything hard inside your ears that might damage or antagonize the skin.
  7. Be careful with hearing aids and ear plugs. If you wear a hearing aid, try to wait until your ear canal is dry after showering before you put the aid back inside your ear. The same applies to ear plugs of any kind—including the ones you use to listen to music. If possible, avoid wearing hearing aids altogether until an itch or infection has completely cleared up.
  8. Controlling your allergies. If you suffer from dust, pollen or other allergies, reduce your exposure to allergens and take antihistamine medication when necessary.

Did You Find this Article Helpful?

Did you find this article helpful? Or perhaps you have another method for treating an itch in your ear canal that I haven't discussed. Please leave your comments below!

Comments 234 comments

WildAimee 10 days ago

Omg! You have 100% described my ear problems! After so many doctors told me my ears were fine I was joking with my family that I might be crazy!

My ears are SO itchy and they get so wet during the night when I'm sleeping (2 docs have told me that the wetness is sweat- um So I either wake up with my finger furiously scratching in my ear or that fluid dries in there and I have crusty and itchy ears in the morning. Also, I am so bad with Qtips, I regularly injure my ear canal with them but geez I'm so dang itchy. I'm trying to be better.

My new doctor believes that this ear problem may be exasperated by my bad seasonal allergies. So hopefully with his help and your suggestions I can get back to having healthy ears.

Thanks for this article.

It's nice to know I'm not nuts!

Evelyn 2 weeks ago

To stop my itching ears I put vaseline (petroleum jelly) on a q tip or cotton wool bud and gently coat the inside of my ear. It takes a week or so to clear up completely but it works. I swim a lot and get eczema in my ears. I keep my ears dry and clean with a damp cloth on the outside.

francois3 2 weeks ago

I had crazy crisis itchy ears for many years... chronic !

Idid try almost everythong, andmany doc/ENT...

I found recently a plant wichs cured me in few days, very efficient and natural, instead using some corticoid's... or other chemicals...

Tootsie 6 weeks ago

Yes - it worked! I am very appreciative for this helpful advice.

In my case it was caused by water getting in my ears while showering. Now I just have to be careful and prevent that from happening again.

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Tootsie 2 months ago

THANK YOU for this home remedy! I have had itchy ears on and off for years and I have been guilty of overusing Qtips and bobby pins. But it has been especially bad for the past few weeks. If it's fungal, the vinegar/alcohol should work; therefore I will definitely give this a try. Thanks again.

Mom_2_1 2 months ago

Great hub!! In talking with my doctor he recommended a few drops of vinegar in my ears to help the itch. I have a container with vinegar and a few drops of tea tree oil in that I use every other day. I'm sure my itch is caused by ear plugs I'm required to wear for work. I know it's not a major health issue but it sure is an annoying one

Cheryl 2 months ago

I went to an EMT and he charged me $100 and wasn't sure what the problem was- he told me to use 100% grain alcohol (kind you drink)- in an eye dropper one drop per ear as needed it helps but the itching returns and I have to continue to use the alcohol - been doing this for over a year and itching hasn't stopped completely

Jean 2 months ago

After experiencing itchy ears for a couple of weeks, I checked out what CVS might have. I've been using CVS Homeopathic earache drops for a while and it's very helpful in relieving the itch. I do have to apply it 2-3X a week so it doesn't cure the itch. I have an MD appt next week and I'll ck it out with her.

simplyjowhm 2 months ago

hi. I just read your article. Is it okay to use johnsons baby oil instead of olive or coconut oil? thanks!

Evane profile image

Evane 4 months ago

I think it is normal to have itching ears sometimes. What can be alarming is frequent itching like everyday or worse.

Angel Rodriguez 4 months ago

I've been dealing with this for years, I mean, years and years. I'm going to try my best to stop the q-tips, and visit a doctor, again! LOL.

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womenshealthguide 5 months ago

I have suffered for years with itchy ears. It seems to be around the rim of the year before it goes into the ear canal. I have been prescribed an antibiotic which I had to spray which temporarily relieved it but it has now come back again

artdeleonardow 5 months ago

I got two itchy ears about 6 years ago... my fav. thing to use was a spread apart bobby pin. I went to the Dr. she gave me useless stuff...

However, I realized whenever I ate seeded fruit or veggies... is when I wold get it at night. Olives, cherries, apples, not apple sauce... apricots...

all caused it. OH it started when I tried roasted red peppers. Never had them before but when I started eating them regularly I got itchy ears.

I havent tried the suggested things here... but I will... Thank you

peace 6 months ago

I love this it was really

mahima 6 months ago


Blackbird 8 months ago

Very useful article , I am afraid I have been using Qtips just for relief , will try and be good now and just put olive oil in my ears once a week , Thankyou.

prettynutjob30 profile image

prettynutjob30 8 months ago from From the land of Chocolate Chips,and all other things sweet.

Great hub, my ears have been itching for a few weeks now and I know it has to do with how much I have been cleaning them. I will have to give the rubbing alcohol a try to see if it can relieve some of the itch.

Pallavi56 9 months ago

Thnx for this hub. Mysteriously without any reason i always tend to have itchy ears. May be your tips and remedies will help me out.

hari87 profile image

hari87 9 months ago from INDIA

Great hub. My mother has been looking for a remedy to cure the itching ear. This hub worth a lot.

ingrid 10 months ago

I have itchy ear right inside the ear canal, and i use q-tips a lot! I saw my doctor about it a year or so ago, he's a naturopath and suggested (without testing) that i'm probably allergic to wheat. So i've reduced wheat consumption by about 90% but it doesnt seem to help all that much. I think perhaps it is associated with my seasonal allergies and it seems maybe sugar related too, which might mean a fungal thing since fungus feeds on sugar...

Thanks for the helpful article!

Vincent 10 months ago

I think doctor are useless and I have seen them many of them to I am a 74-year-old man I have an itchy and I have an itchy ear both on the right side I have an itchy ass I wake up every morning at 6 o'clock in the morning with pain in my chest pain in my stomach it goes away after I get up but it won't let me stay in bed I have a bad stomach I call anoscopy doctor they are worthless they were interested in one thing money I lost the kidney me in the last eight years so I only got one good working kidney don't know where the other when but I think Doctor had something to do with it you know put in a stent there and one there triple bypass 20 years ago they played with my auto triple bypass 20 years ago doctors of no help to me whatsoever but I have a good kidney doctor though God bless everybody

Ahmedammarooo 11 months ago

Great advices ... Thank you ... :)

Arc4life profile image

Arc4life 11 months ago from Florida

Great article. I wonder if a warm solution of hydrogen and peroxide and water work the same as the vinegar combination?

greenmind profile image

greenmind 11 months ago

Good, solid hub with lots of great advice. You're a really good writer and I appreciate hubbers like you. Thanks!

ladyguitarpicker profile image

ladyguitarpicker 11 months ago from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619

Hi, Your article was very helpful as I get this very often. I have used Q tips my whole life, now I know. Nice to meet you,Stella

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Rabadi 12 months ago from New York

very informative. Awesome, Following you now :)

livingelysian profile image

livingelysian 12 months ago from Loveland, Colorado

Great resource! Thanks for this!

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Chin chin 12 months ago from Philippines

Very informative hub. Sometimes, I also have itchy ears. It just gets worse if I try to "scratch it," so as much as I can, I just let it be and it resolves itself. What I really am bothered about is when pimples appear inside my ear. It's itchy, a bit painful and very annoying. But as long as I don't touch it, it's gone after a few days.

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Liamlion 12 months ago from Ankara Turkey

the first time I know about it

Breatheeasy3 profile image

Breatheeasy3 12 months ago from USA

Excellent article. I thought this phenomenon rested with me. Instead, I see how common it really is and appreciate these reasonable remedies. Excellent breakdown on the subject

Susan Trump profile image

Susan Trump 12 months ago from San Diego, California

No I don't dislike anything that works. Candida, however, can live with a person a lifetime. Most people have it and it manifests differently. It's vey difficult to curb and doctors know almost nothing about it. I've written about it as others on hubs. Your doc is right though, whatever works.

Skiday profile image

Skiday 12 months ago from Isle of Wight, UK

I'm afraid you won't like this comment, but I've had itchy ear for at least 40 years combined with a reduced diameter left ear canal. The medical profession had no real answer for it, so I found what works for me. I get as much water in my ears when showering (every other day) then dry it out with Q-tips (carefully!) I have done this for over 30 years and it keeps my ears just fine, clean and itch free. If I do not shower for 3 days I feel it coming back. I have told my doctor I do this and he said 'Well if it works for you'.

Susan Trump profile image

Susan Trump 12 months ago from San Diego, California

I always thought it was candida.

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Jackie Lynnley 12 months ago from The Beautiful South

I had unbearable trouble with my ears for about three years until I thought I would go mad and no doctors could see a thing wrong with them until finally I was sent to a neurologist and found out the problem was from cervical spine damage. It was a nerve pinched and causing the ear problems and also numbness and pain in my hands and feet. So anyway if no one can find anything wrong they may want to look up this avenue since it can be so bad and go in so many directions.

Ellehcir 13 months ago

This article helps me a lot to lessen my worries about my itchy ear.

Thank you, God Bless and more power to you.

Veleda Tai 13 months ago

How am i going to stop my ear itchy inside? Every night i feel difficult to sleep when my both ears are very itchy inside.

How to stop the itchy from my ear inside.

Maureen 14 months ago

I suffer from Meneires also. Will put drops in my ears affect that? Thank you!

alphaprime profile image

alphaprime 14 months ago

great article! thank you.

Diana 14 months ago

Ive had this problem for severeal months now and i am guilty of using bobby pins to releive some of the itching. But thats only made it worse, yet i still ocassionally use them.

But i want to try the rubbing alchol and white vinegar thing, but if my skin is broken inside my ear, (which i dont know if it is, although im guessing it is) can i still try this remedy? Or will it burn or sting when i apply it to my ears?

Please relpy!

ms. mher 14 months ago

Do i still need to use cottons after applying oil in my ear?

Connie 14 months ago

this is an incredible article. I have been wearing hearing aids for 13 years and fur the last four years I have suffered withy itchy years continually. I used medical oil mess for two years now. It helps for s while but it always comes back. I learned from this article to be sure the ears are good and dry after showers before putting back in and I will use the home remedy oil treatments in lieu of paying $35.00 for a small bottle of medication. Thank you so much

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maggs224 15 months ago from Sunny Spain

An interesting and informative article and I have hit the two buttons that reflect those facts. I like it when I leave a hub knowing more than when I came. Voted up :D

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Doc Wordinger 15 months ago from Manchester, UK Author

Thanks Agilitybeauty, I'm happy that you found it interesting!

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Doc Wordinger 15 months ago from Manchester, UK Author

Thanks meenagupta686

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Doc Wordinger 15 months ago from Manchester, UK Author

Hi Grazie, I'm glad I was able to help!

Agilitybeauty profile image

Agilitybeauty 15 months ago from U.S.A

great article from you its very nice to me to read about Treat an Itchy Ear Canal I think its my first time i read about it.

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meenagupta686 15 months ago from delhi

awesome trick dear its a nice one

Grazie 15 months ago

Today I experienced itchiness in my right ear and its nighttime so I could only visit the doctor on the morning so I scanned for treatmets and stumble into this... thank you! It immediately relieved the itchiness

Doc Wordinger profile image

Doc Wordinger 16 months ago from Manchester, UK Author

Thanks to everyone for your comments and feedback. There's a lot of great insight in the comments section to this hub which reinforces my belief that it is becoming a great resource for anyone suffering from itchy ears, and is not simply a standalone article.

A few questions were asked in the comments and I'll try to reply to them individually. Apologies if I miss anyone.

Stephanie Farmer - I've never used Earol myself but it does seem to get very good reviews online and is also a natural, preventative style treatment which I advocate in this article. If your ears are continuing to itch, I think it would be wise to return to your doctor so he/she can take a swab and test for things such as a fungal infection. There are a myriad of causes of an itchy ear - some are common like infections or allergies, others are less obvious like stress and anxiety (as mentioned by Amanda5577 in the comments above). If your doctor can rule out an infection, then perhaps you could look at other possible causes yourself and, by process of elimination, find the root of the problem. Good luck.

AnneMarie1987 - Sorry, I'm not familiar with Shungite Water as an ear treatment so can't make any comment on this.

Aprilsemogan - Yes, Hydrogen Peroxide is commonly used to clean ears and treat ear infections. You can find it in many of the 'earwax removal' products in your local pharmacy. Be careful though because overuse can dry out your skin. If in doubt, or if you have a serious ear complaint, always consult your doctor first.

Chris12 - I think it is important that you return to your doctor and explain that the oral treatment was not sufficient to prevent the itch returning. Your doctor might choose to prescribe an anti-fungal cream or ear-spray to use alongside the oral medicine. I would also take the opportunity to speak to your doctor about trying natural treatments (like the ones documented in this article) as part of a long-term, preventative strategy.

DebMartin - A possible idea for my next article!

DrKimCrawford - As with Shungite Water, I'm afraid that I have no experience with quercetin.

Jeanne Hoback profile image

Jeanne Hoback 16 months ago from Rapid City, SD

Really interesting and good information. Thanks.

Barbara 17 months ago

Thank you for the useful information. I've had a chronic issue with my ears over the past few years and its incredibly frustrating and embarrassing. I've used the drops and antibiotic cream but the problem would only subside for a few weeks and then return. I hope this works as I didn't want to have to pay a bunch of money to see a doc again for more meds that didn't really solve the issue. Thanks again!!

DrKimCrawford profile image

DrKimCrawford 17 months ago from Florida

Wow! This is absolutely great and I will make sure to attribute the info to you when sharing with itchy-eared patients and members. One thing I have found that helps for allergies in my population is quercetin. Any experience with that?

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hoov45 17 months ago from Denham Springs, Louisiana

Excellent writing and wonderful Hub. Keep up the great work. Voted up and useful.

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choosetolive 17 months ago from London, Canada

Very useful hub. Thanks for the information. Voted & thumps up

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lyoness913 17 months ago from Overland Park, KS

I am constantly digging into my ears- paper clips- ends of pens- anything I can possibly get my hands on. I buy q-tips in bulk- and itching feels soooo good! Thanks for the valuable article, I have bookmarked it for future reference!

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Spirit Whisperer 18 months ago from Isle of Man

Excellent article. Your information is meticulously researched and very well written. The links you provide are also of the highest quality. I have tweeted because of how helpful it is.

Luis G Asuncion profile image

Luis G Asuncion 18 months ago from City of San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan, Philippines

Although, I am already following the tips you have mentioned but still I find it useful due to the step by step instructions.

DebMartin 18 months ago

Interesting. I usually have itchy ears during the winter when the house is so dry. I'll try the olive or coconut oil. Thanks. Now what have you got for an itchy nose? lol. Thanks!

gisetines profile image

gisetines 18 months ago from México

this is a rare condition

chris12 18 months ago

ayear ago a have this itchy ear then it became became i decided to go to my doctor he said that my ears got infected cause by fungus..he advise me to use oral antibiotics..drops such as antibacterial and anti fungus,then he advised me to come back again after a week to see if there any procedure that he will do for my ears.after a week of medication,i don't feel any itch and pain at all so i decided to not comeback to my doctor...and after two weeks...again my ears got itchy again.....i hope you can help me doc...some advice please...

Shil1978 profile image

Shil1978 18 months ago

Excellent hub. Your advice would be just what my friend needs. She's been suffering from itchy ears for a long time. I'd be letting her know about this hub. Thanks again, great work :)

aprilsemogan profile image

aprilsemogan 18 months ago

Thank you for sharing this information, it is really helpful for all of us. We are used to what we know, but this hub is a great enlightenment. I have a concern though, is hydrogen peroxide good in cleaning the ear canal? Thanks!

AnnieMarie1987 profile image

AnnieMarie1987 19 months ago from New York, New York

Thank you, very informative, I have a question – has anyone tried shungite water? One of my friends advised me to try it, in his case it helped. If anybody faced this situation and tried it please advise.

Babbyii profile image

Babbyii 19 months ago from Alaska's Kenai Peninsula

Natasha that's great! Can't have enough backups to the olive oil and the garlic oil I automatically use. Should've figured that though. Wouldn't be surprised if more oils wouldn't help too.

Natasha Quigley profile image

Natasha Quigley 19 months ago from Germany

Great complement!!! I know that I've found coconut oil to work great for my ears. One thing that is my ultimate "go to" for over excessive itchy ear canal (when it's to the point that is all I can think about) I use two drops of hydrogenperoxide and lay with that ear facing up until the fizzing stops the repeat on my other ear.

eilval profile image

eilval 19 months ago from Western Cape , South Africa

Thanks for this insightful artilcle . I think we're all suffring from itchy ears at some stage . Will try the olive ol for sure !

healthyfitness profile image

healthyfitness 19 months ago

Oh my gosh! I always thought I suffered alone in this, my ear canals have been itching lately and I assumed the worst. Glad to know it's a common thing and not something dangerous. I'm going to give the info in this article a try. And I'm DEFINITELY going to stop cleaning inside the canal with a QTIP. (Its such a hard habit to break though!)

Tiffany 19 months ago

My ears have been itching for several yrs now . I found that using a back massager that vibrates helps when i press it to my ears.

Babbyii profile image

Babbyii 19 months ago from Alaska's Kenai Peninsula

I've always used garlic oil. It hasn't failed me yet. Unless I run out. Now I've more helpful information. My ears usually get itchy if I've eaten too much sugar that day. I'll share the rest with my Dad. He loves this type of info too. Thanks!!

amanda5577 profile image

amanda5577 19 months ago from Michigan

This is a very informative hub. When I was a baby I had ear tubes for chronic ear infections. Unfortunately I am still prone to ear infections when my ears are exposed to moisture and when I am sick. I do use Q-tips to clear out any wax or gently dry my ear to prevent infection. After reading this article it may be worth just putting a little bit of cotton in my ear when taking a shower so I don't create damage from using Q-tips.

One thing I would like to add in response to one of your readers about having itchy and sore ears at night, is that if the problem still persists after seeing a doctor and trying multiple treatment methods appropriately, it may be possible that anxiety is playing a role in making the problem worse at night. Anyone who struggles with an issue for 15+ years is going to be frustrated and is likely to have some anxiety which makes the whole experience even worse. Night time is at the end of the day and for many people anxiety is worse as the pain or discomfort increases throughout the day. If anxiety might be a contributing factor, consider talking to a counselor about methods to cope with stress. It may not eliminate all of your problems but it might make your life a little bit easier and more enjoyable.

Thanks for taking the time to share this information, I really enjoyed reading.

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moviesreviews 19 months ago from NY

Excellent advice. Thanks for your tips.

Susan Trump profile image

Susan Trump 20 months ago from San Diego, California

That was my mom's condition. She never looked into it.

stephanie farmer 20 months ago

I am a scuba diver and always use Earol swim ear which contains tea tree oil which is wonderful, but about 4 weeks after we return from holiday I get dreadfully itchy ears which drive me insane and wake me up at night. My ears do not leak fluid, hurt or have wax. My doctor has looked and found nothing untoward. I use Earol to try to help stop the itching as it is hypoallergenic and anti-bacterial but my ears are still driving me nuts. Previously the itching has stopped after about a month but not this time. Please help!

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mysweetlittle6 20 months ago from United States

This is very interesting. I have suffered from itchy ears and ear infections my whole life. Thank you for the tips!

Bruce 20 months ago

I have had itchy ears for years, with dry and flaky skin. Dermatologist prescribed two high powered creams that did not work. Then I developed another skin issue and was prescribed "triamcinolone acetonide ointment usp, 0.1%. So I tried this, applying a small dab on the tip of my little finger once a day. After four days I no longer had the problem.

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Raymond Tremain 20 months ago from Metro Manila Philippines

Thank you for this n

write yes I used to have very bad itchie ear which I could not stop so I put up with it, but as I live in a hotter country now it seems to have gone for now, but your write I will watch now

what I put in my ears.

Whitney Rose Wood 20 months ago

Finally, an article that may convince my husband to stop using Q-Tips. I can't wait to show him the article and see if he is willing to try the oil method. He has been Q-tipping for years due to what he calls "a chronic itch ". I may not be able to convince him to go see a doctor about it, but I can at least let him read for himself that there are other options!

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MonkeyShine75 20 months ago from Los Angeles, California

Great hub voted up

I think if people realized that the pain felt in the ear that occurs when objects are inserted into it, is Natures mechanism to deter putting objects in the ear in the first place, they might stop doing it. The ears can bring about some of the worse pain you can experience.

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Ammon Beardmore 20 months ago

My mom used the olive oil technique on me

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Doc Wordinger 20 months ago from Manchester, UK Author

Sorry for the delay in replying to some of your comments...

Eileen - While many people do use mineral oil to clean wax from their ears, personally I wouldn't use it as a treatment for itchiness. I feel that both olive oil and coconut oil are better options. For more information on mineral oil and skincare, see this article:

blessedp - I'm always happy to hear from readers who've found a solution that works for them! Thanks for your comment.

seenjet - Not only can Q-tips potentially damage your ear drums, they can also irritate the skin in your ears causing you to itch even more.

Keisha Hunter - No problem!

humzayunas - Glad to hear that your brother has found some relief.

Ellie Miles - Thanks for sharing. I'm happy you found the article helpful.

Stargrrl - Yes, hydrogen peroxide is widely used to unblock dry ear wax. If your doctor has recommended this treatment to you then I wouldn't hesitate to give it a try.

Mhedge - It was my intention with this article to highlight both medicines that your doctor can prescribe (for fast-acting relief) as well as natural methods and long-term preventative care. I'm pleased that you found it useful.

nicolas-ray - Thanks for bringing up the topic of ear hair. I didn't include it in the article but it's definitely worth considering it as a potential cause of irritation and itchiness.

toptengamer - Thanks! See my comment in reply to Mhedge.

Sabrina - Have you seen your doctor because he should be able to recommend the right treatment for tackling excessive wax. Olive oil is great at softening dry, hard wax. Another option is hydrogen peroxide (which I mentioned in reply to Stargrrl). Book an appointment with your doctor if wax is causing you discomfort or hearing loss.

Joyette Fabien - Thank you for commenting.

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Joyette Fabien 20 months ago from Dominica

Great hub!Very useful information. I find the home remedies particularly helpful.

Sabrina 20 months ago

I found this article very interesting! Some of the ideas sound easy enough to try! :) How effective is the olive oil drops for removing ear wax? My ears produce a lot of wax, and they are difficult to keep clean all the time. I get a build up of ear wax almost every week!

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toptengamer 21 months ago from The Game

I agree with what Mhedge said. Normally authors only show professional or home remedies, not both. Thanks!

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nicolas-ray 21 months ago from Stamford, CT

Really great article and strangely enough, one that I found very useful, Thanks. One of my favorite things after showering is drying my ears out with cotton swabs and rubbing alcohol. This process plus keeping ear hair trimmed prevents my itchy ear. I will try out some of your ideas out. Thanks again.

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Mhedge 21 months ago from Hampton Roads Virginia

This article is full of useful information. I found it interesting and helpful for the authur to use both medical solutions and home remedies to help with itchy ear problems. Thank you for all the useful information.

Stargrrl 21 months ago

I was told by my doctor to use hydrogen peroxide, so then the wax would fizzle out. Do you know of this?

Ellie Miles 22 months ago

It was excited to come across your article tonight. I have been dealing with itchy ears for a week now and its driving me nuts! I never knew Q-tips were a no-no, and the home remedies such as olive oil are exactly what I was looking for. The article was informative and well-written. Thanks for providing this valuable information.

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humzayunas 22 months ago from multan, Pakistan

My younger bro had really bad issue like this . But after reading your hub i realized that this not due to non-usage of cotton buds then i tried your home remedy tips and after that he's feeling comfortable now . Thanks .

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Keisha Hunter 22 months ago from Paradise and then some

Definitely a useful topic. Thanks for sharing.

seenjet 22 months ago

well done.. I learned a lot what was me supposed to drop. Many time on such a scenario I use buds to clean itching and now that unlighted that too cause harm to eardrum..Good article every one must read and reach out the benefit...

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blessedp 22 months ago

That's an excellent post. I too suffer from itching ear canal and it is sweet to scratch it but the after effects are unbareable.

Mine is due to allergies and garlic with olive oil works for me.

Thanks much for sharing.

Eileen 22 months ago

thanks for this info ... Im going to try the oilve oil ... I too suffer AT NIGHT .. I have itching during the day but at night it wakes me from sleep. I have even tried putting the Q tips in the back of the cabinet ...but sometimes the itching is SO bad I must dig them out and scratch away.

I'm going to try the olive oil ... I was trying to find the info regarding the coconut oil but didn't see it. I also have a bottle of mineral oil would this work the same as the olive oil ??

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Doc Wordinger 23 months ago from Manchester, UK Author

I know Siani. They are very difficult to resist. Thanks for your comment and good luck.

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Siani 23 months ago from Texas

Thanks for the information. I am always in my ear with q-tips. I know it comes from my allergies. But I definitely stop using the q-tips. It just feels so good! :-)

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Doc Wordinger 23 months ago from Manchester, UK Author

Hey Neenerbug, welcome back and good luck. Don't give up. There are so many possible causes and you need to keep persevering until you find the right treatment. Prescription medication from the doctor is a godsend when symptoms flare up but is sometimes only a temporary, short-term solution. There is often an underlying cause that needs to be addressed. I'm overwhelmed and encouraged by the number of comments on this article because with so many people sharing their experiences and treatments, it gives the reader a better chance of isolating the cause of their own itchy ear.

LaLa181818 - That's a really interesting story; thank you for sharing it. Did your itch return after the treatment or has it now been eliminated completely?

VJGSA - Hydrogen Peroxide is a fairly common treatment for cleaning the ear and preventing excessive wax build-up. If it also helps to subdue the itch then that's a million times better than sticking a Q-Tip inside.

Laura - I'm glad you've found something that works. You should always check first with your pharmacist or doctor before applying a pharmaceutical ointment to your ear. I'm sure you know this already but this is just a gentle reminder. Keeping your ears dry when bathing/showering is definitely sound advice. And for anyone with a yeast overgrowth, a change of diet is worth considering.

Joyette Fabien - You're welcome. Thank you for leaving a comment.

AngeShearer - Thanks; glad you found it helpful.

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AngeShearer 2 years ago from Whangarei, Northland

Wow what a great hub thankyou so much for sharing your very easy to follow tips. I found this to be very helpful indeed and very informative voted up

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Joyette Fabien 2 years ago from Dominica

Very informative and useful. Thanks for sharing.

I am in fact, guilty of many of the things you advised against. I will try to do better now.

Laura 2 years ago

I've had itchy ear canals and they only got bad when I slept. It was worse if I just taken a shower before bed and the ears (damp). So I thought if the there was some bacteria growing in the ear then I tried thin layer neosporen triple antibiotic in my ear applied with my pinky finger. That sometimes worked. When it didn't I thought if it's not a bacteria it must be fungal like swimmer's ear..... So put one drop on almost dry pinky and tried that in the ear and it works! Now I make sure my ears never get wet in bath, shower or swimming. Also avoid carbs and sugar in diet.

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VJGSA 2 years ago from Texas

I can relate to this. It's quite frustrating when I can't reach an itch in my ear canal. On those occasions I drip hydrogen peroxide biefly then drain it - usually works. Thanks for the other (Q) tips.

LaLa181818 2 years ago

I know how frustrating and agonizing it is to live with this itchy ear problem. Doctors could never "see" anything during examinations until the ear canal had swellen shut (from infection caused by my using cotton swabs probably...). I went to one of those walk-in clinics on a Sunday for help as I knew I was going to be miserable all week at work. They gave me antibiotics, pain pills (I was indeed in pain), and a Rx for a different kind of drops - CiPro - used to treat swimmers ear... Within 4 hours of adminitering those drops the swelling and pain subsided !!!! Didn't take any of the other drugs. Today, my primary care physician says CiPro is a placebo... I call it a miracle.

Neenerbug 2 years ago from New England Yankee

I'm looking at my prescription, it's not acetate like I mentioned above. It's called Acetic Acid. That is what my doc gave me. Sorry for the misinformation above.

Neenerbug 2 years ago from New England Yankee

Hello there, I'm letting you know I did go to the doctor. He gave me some drops "acetate"? he also told me if the pharmacy didn't have this that I could try 1/2 vinegar 1/2 distalled water solution. Well, the "acetate" smells just like the vinegar solution! and they both work pretty good. The terrible itchy sensation isn't as bad. still get it but it's not as bad. I printed this whole article and took it with me on my appointment! he seemed unimpressed by the allergy idea and totally dismissed the thyroid issues. (insert eye roll here) putting drops in my ears sends chills down my spine, but i'm dealing with it. I still wake up in the middle of the night with itchy ears. They are not "weeeping" like they used to. I'm thinking i was itching them so hard with qtips they were actually bleeding. He also told me to continue the sweet oil. (I got that from a post above, it's the same as olive , thank you so much!) on the outer perimeters. It's been over 10 days and I am only supposed to use it for 10 ten days. I have to keep using it; its my only sanity! I go back to see him the end of November and will also be doing a hearing test at that time as well. Wish me luck :/

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Doc Wordinger 2 years ago from Manchester, UK Author

Thanks Robert, you know where to find it if you need it.

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Doc Wordinger 2 years ago from Manchester, UK Author

Thanks Edwin

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Doc Wordinger 2 years ago from Manchester, UK Author

Thanks Steph. I'm glad you've found a method that works for you.

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Doc Wordinger 2 years ago from Manchester, UK Author

Junecampbell - If this article achieves nothing more than awakening people to the dangers of using Q-tips to scratch inside their ears then I'll consider it a big success! Thanks for commenting.

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Doc Wordinger 2 years ago from Manchester, UK Author

Hi Bheng. I really must reiterate that cotton buds/Q-tips are dangerous. Because we can't see inside our ears, we don't realize the damage that they do. That burning sensation is your ear trying to tell you to stop. If you damage or tear the skin inside your ear, you are putting yourself at risk of a nasty infection. You could also damage your ear drum. You really need to focus on finding the cause of your itchy ears - maybe you could try visiting a different doctor and combine that approach with some natural treatments.

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Doc Wordinger 2 years ago from Manchester, UK Author

Hi Robyn. This sounds like quite a bad infection and I think it would be wise to persist with your doctor until he/she prescribes an antibiotic that works. You should also consult your doctor before trying any natural treatments. I'm sorry I couldn't be of more help and I hope your infection clears up soon. Please drop by again and let us know how you get on.

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robert feld 2 years ago from Brighton, United Kingdom

My ears get terribly itchy. Next time I get one, I'll be sure to read up on your article again. Thanks.

Edwin 2 years ago

very informative guide

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Steph Tietjen 2 years ago from Albuquerque, New Mexico

I have often suffered from itchy ear canal (usually following a hair washing) and find that just drying the canal or using a little olive oil applied gently with a q-tip cotton bud solves the problem (which you suggested as well). This page has great info.

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junecampbell 2 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

Helpful and timely. I have itchiness in my ear canals and I confess to using the Qtip approach. No more, thanks to you. I don't think I have ever seen an article on this topic before, come to think of it.

Bheng Montevirgen 2 years ago

Thank you for a wonderful info... I am suffering itchy ears for a long time it's years, i take medication also and ear drops but nothings happen... Until I stop going to the doctor , I just use cotton buds that gives me satisfaction to scratch inside my ears. And I feel a little heat inside when I finish scratching it. I hope this info could help me... Thank you.

Robyn Waller 2 years ago

Hi, I have psunomas (sorry not sure of spelling!) Infection in my ear. Doctor has given me about 5 different antibiotics and ear drops and nothing is working! I have read that this infection has antibiotic resistance so was wondering if you can suggest something natural that may work?? The itching is driving me crazy!! Thanks

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Doc Wordinger 2 years ago from Manchester, UK Author

Hello again Indigo and thank you for returning to share your story with us. It's really encouraging to receive positive feedback like yours, especially after two years. Hopefully this natural solution will continue to work for you so that you never have to revert back to steroid ointments.

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Doc Wordinger 2 years ago from Manchester, UK Author

Thanks for all the comments. Please keep them coming.

Kristin - The coconut oil that I use is organic extra virgin coconut oil by Tiana. Just Google 'Tiana' to find their website. For more information about the various types of coconut oil, have a look at this article -

Regarding the olive oil, I can't really give you a definitive answer although if it's organic then you're on the right track.

Jennifer - Great advice and thank you for sharing!

Ruth - I think we are all guilty of 'cyberchondria' at times. Glad to hear that your itch stopped by itself and hopefully you can use this article as a reference point if it returns.

Rashaun - Your comment has made me very happy! I'm really pleased that your mind has been put at rest. Sometimes we are prone to fearing the worst but usually our fears are ill-founded. See Ruth Martin's comment above. The internet can be a blessing and a curse.

Thelma - Thank you!

Hillka - Scratching your ears with a hard object will only make them worse. Please see your doctor as soon as possible.

Neenerbug - Have you considered that you might have an allergy? See Jennifer's comment just above yours - she had itchy ears for twenty years and discovered that it was caused by an allergy to gluten. Your doctor can run tests for this. Please don't give up hope and keep pressing your doctor for help.

Miss Muse - I think everyone is guilty of misusing Q-tips, myself included. But we just have to remind ourselves how damaging they can be. The inside of your ear is extremely sensitive. Sticking Q-tips in there is like using a sharp cooking knife instead of a fork to eat your dinner. Try some of the natural remedies in this article - they might offer some respite or remove the itch completely.

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Miss Muse 2 years ago from Ohio

It's hard not to use a q-tip for itchy ear canals, I'll try the other cotton bll in the shower method- thanks!

Neenerbug 2 years ago from New England Yankee

I'd like to thank Delfina's post here (20 months ago) and King's (16 months ago) - I feel so alone right now. I never sleep, my ears weep at night and itch to the point of agonizing discomfort. I wake up all the time, I have to change my pillow cases because my ears leak! It's not blood, but I don't know what it is. I don't think I produce wax anymore. I'm addicted to Q tips, lol! My biggest problem, I do know; but I can't get relief anywhere else. I have had ear infections all my adult life. And bumped from one health care provider to the next, nobody seems to give a care. Fungus, bacteria, lack of producing ear wax, or thyroid? These were never any conversations dr had with me. Now I feel a little empowered with this site in my corner. I'm calling dr this week! Thank you! Thank you!

Hillka 2 years ago

This itching ears it real kills me and sometimes i use even hard objective to scratch inside my ears

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Thelma Alberts 2 years ago from Germany

I sometimes have itchy ear canal. Thanks for sharing this very informative hub. Voted up and more.

Rashaun Wong 2 years ago

I found this very helpful because my itchy ear canal had me thinking that it was gonna stay with me forever, in a few days I'm going to the doctor and I'm gonna tell them about my ear so that hopefully they give me ear drops or something useful. I had this itchy ear canal for about 3 to 4 months and I cannot wait to get rid of it.

Your information has relieved me of any negative thoughts on my ear and also yesterday I had a little check up and my ear drums are perfect so it should be just my ear canal, but next time I will explain to them about my itchy ear.

I'm 15 and this information really has put my mind back on the positive track, thank you!

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Ruth Martin 2 years ago

I found this hub a few days too late. My right ear had been itching like crazy all week and of course I was googling all the possible ailments and becoming increasingly convinced that I was going to die. Sometimes I wonder how hypochondriacs could be appropriately terrified before the internet. But when I woke up yesterday morning, it had stopped. I guess if it comes back I'll know what to do!

Jennifer 2 years ago

I had itching ears that drove me insane for 20 years. I scratched them so bed I had constant outer ear infections. I was taking cipro ear drops often. I finally found out it was due to gluten. Everyone with prolonged itching in your ear, get tested for Celiac Disease!

Kristin 2 years ago

Wow! Great article with many useful ideas.

I started recently incorporating coconut oil into my diet by adding it to smoothies and eating it whole. This is because of the many benefits and anti fungal properties that I've recently noticed I needed. I would like some clerfication if possible though. I have two different kinds of coconut oil. One is "extra virgin" which is hard in cold temperatures and melts if left in the sun. The other is an actual oil which is always liquid. Which one should I put in my ear?

Also, which olive oil would be best. Extra Virgin, cold pressed, organic, regular olive oil, etc?

You might say it makes no difference, but the idea of putting any type of oil into my ear scares me so I'd like to know I'm doing it correctly.

I am also hoping what you said in the comment above about the tinnitus is true. It seems to have started recently in the exact same ear that's been itching!

Thanks so much for your help!!!

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Doc Wordinger 2 years ago from Manchester, UK Author

Thanks choosetolive.

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choosetolive 2 years ago from London, Canada

Good article. I have tweeted your article !

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Doc Wordinger 2 years ago from Manchester, UK Author

Q-tips can be a best friend and a worst enemy at the same time Jen. Hopefully you'll find some itching relief with the olive or coconut oil.

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Doc Wordinger 2 years ago from Manchester, UK Author

Glad you found it helpful, Mary Rite.

Jen 2 years ago

I thought I was the only one! I've had itchy ears for most of my life. I am now 51. I'm addicted to the Q-tip treatment for itchy ears, but after a bit of a fiasco with that, (yup, one bud got stuck in me ear'ole for a couple of days! Now resolved), I've decided to go for the olive or coconut oil treatment.

Great article.

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Doc Wordinger 2 years ago from Manchester, UK Author

Shel - I'm sorry to read about your problems with your ear. This is a complex case and I think it would be in your best interests to book an appointment with an ear specialist. Have you asked your doctor if he/she can arrange this for you?

Jean - For certain individuals, ear plugs are known for causing irritation and itching in the ear. Personally, I can't wear an ear plug for longer than a few minutes without having to take it out. You stated that you need to wear plugs for your job. Is it to protect your ear drum from excessive noise? If so, perhaps you could try alternative protection such as earmuffs that rest outside the ear canal. Olive oil could be a viable solution if plugs are unavoidable. The oil will provide a film between the mold and the skin which could reduce discomfort.

Sammy - Hearing loss can occur for a number of reasons. Much of the time it is treatable but certain causes, such as nerve damage, can be permanent. Firstly, I would look at eradicating the itch so you no longer feel compelled to scratch inside your ear canal. If your hearing does not return in time, your doctor will need to determine the cause of hearing loss and whether it is reversible. The ringing in your ear could be tinnitus. More than 10% of Americans suffer from tinnitus at some stage in their lives so it is not uncommon. There are plenty of strategies for managing it and making it less intrusive. And you might find that once you stop itching your ears, the ringing disappears soon after.

Jamie - If you have any concerns about using olive oil or other home remedies in your ears, speak with your doctor before trying it. My experience is that olive oil does not cause harm to the ear drum and it was actually my ENT specialist who suggested using it in the first place! The ear secretes wax naturally as a cleaning mechanism and a barrier against infection and water. Olive oil can act in a similar way. It is also effective at softening and loosening ear wax where it has built up and caused a blockage. If you want to heat up the olive oil first, just be careful that it is WARM and NOT HOT. You don't want to burn your ear.

Cynsible - Thank you for sharing your experiences. Anyone who hasn't found the cause of their allergies is well advised to try an elimination diet of dairy products. Remember to seek alternative food sources for the nutrients that are lost through the removal of dairy products.

Nathi - Pharmaceutical products such as hydrocortisone cream can be a godsend for itchy ear sufferers, especially when the condition needs bringing under control quickly. Such creams are not really designed for daily long-term use but can provide effective short-term support. You should always speak to a doctor first before using these types of products in your ears.

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Doc Wordinger 2 years ago from Manchester, UK Author

I'm delighted that so many readers have found this article helpful. I'll try to respond to some of the questions individually:

Jim D - You stated that there is no 'visible sign' of a fungal infection. But has your doctor or ENT specialist taken a swab of your ear canal and sent it for testing in a lab? This would rule out a fungal infection conclusively. You asked how you can find out if the hearing aids, anti-depressants and nasal spray are responsible for causing/assuaging the itchiness. If you were to stop wearing the hearing aids for a few weeks and the itchiness disappeared then this would suggest that the earmold is the source. You could then take this information to your specialist so he/she can decide on a new course of action. It really depends on how disadvantaged you would be in your day-to-day life without wearing your hearing aids for a few weeks. As for the nasal spray and anti-depressants, again, you might want to try stopping the medication for a certain amount of time and noting the results in a diary. IT IS VERY IMPORTANT THAT YOU SPEAK TO YOUR DOCTOR OR ENT SPECIALIST BEFORE STOPPING ANY MEDICATION. Certain drugs (especially anti-depressants) can have dangerous withdrawal symptoms. Please speak to your doctor first. And remember to keep a diary and try to rate the itchiness on a scale of 1-10 so you can record the effect of discontinuation on your ears. Good luck.

misbah wani 2 years ago

Thank you so much.this article was really helpfull.

molly 2 years ago

Thank you so much for this article. It was very informative and included everything I wanted to know. I am a swimmer and train regularly (5 times a week) and I have never suffered from Otitis Externa, but since the last 2 weeks or so, I have had a terrible earache that comes and goes. Then, a few days ago it started to itch. I have consulted my Doctor and he has given me drops that I am supposed to put it twice a day, but I'm not sure if it helps the itching going on in my ear. It definitely helps with the pain though! Thanks agai

Nathi 2 years ago

Yes i did get help frm THIS site tank you.ADROCOTISONE cream is perfect for ichy,painfull and swelling ears

Georgia 2 years ago

I have had this itchy ear for 15 years. I am always using Q-tips. (Or pen lids, Bobby-pins, anything that fits). I have told doctors repeatedly and they just blew me off. When something like this irritated you this long, you need resolve. This article helped me understand the vicious cycle of using q-tips and breaking the delicate skin. I am going to put away the q-tips and make an appointment with an ENT or just ist these useful natural tips. (Not q-tips haha).

Tina 2 years ago

The olive oil really works. Thank you, all winter long my ears have been itching me, I used a dropper and put olive oil in both ears, it soothe my ears.

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cynsible 2 years ago

I didn't read all of the responses, so I don't know if anyone touched on this one yet. I had itchy ears for several years. One day I ordered a coffee with milk substitute. The barista asked if I had a dairy allergy. I told her yes, it makes me sneeze. She said her midwife thinks she has one since a common sign is itchy ears. It was at that moment that I realized that my ears had stopped itching as soon as I stopped dairy foods!! (The barista is now my dairy free friend! :-)) So I was good for a while....until one day about six months ago, it felt like there was a hair tickling my ear and I couldn't make it stop. It would go on for about 30 minutes at a time and then stop. When I researched the cause I found it could be caused by grinding or clenching your teeth (also chewing gum). The next time it happened, sure enough I was clenching and when I stopped it stopped bothering me. I just have to be conscious of what I am doing now when it happens. Hope this helps some of you. It is an awesome feeling to be itch free!

Jamie 2 years ago

I have itchy ear canals for almost 2 years and visited the GP for several times, but the vicious cycle just came back like you said. My current situation after I stopped for a few days of ear drop, is the itchiness and flaky skin which made me scratch and hence fluid started coming out again. I am keen in trying the olive oil. However, by dripping it into the ear and leaving it for few minutes, will it damage or cause harm to the eardrum since it should be kept clean/dry? Appreciate your enlightenment on this.

goodgal.ninc 2 years ago

thank you so much. i will definitely try these.

i sometimes cover my ears with a piece of cloth when they are itching and it helps stop the itching for that moment though.

jenneth 2 years ago

OMG...took me years to realize what's going on on this ears of mine. Thanks for the info.

Michelle 2 years ago

Thanks for the article. I had an itchy ear for around 2 years which drove me crazy. I had multiple doctor and specialist visits and prescribed ear drops (antibiotics, antifungals, steroids), but the problem kept coming back. It turned out to be fungal, and the only thing that worked was my own idea to try AquaEar drops (acetic acid + alcohol) twice a day for 5-6 weeks.

Your article is the first one I see that also mentions this remedy, where you suggest vinegar + alcohol. If people don't want to make it themselves, it can be purchased as an over the counter preparation in a pharmacy, marketed to prevent swimmers ear.

Good luck to everyone with treating those itchy ears!

Sammy 2 years ago

Is there any way to treat hearing loss? I have been guilty of scratching my right ear deep inside with a tip for several years now, and now I can barley hear anything at all with it, and it rings sometimes. How can it be treated?

Jean 2 years ago

I'm fairly sure my horribly itchy ears are being caused by ear plug use. I need to wear them for work and not long after I put them in my ears start itching bad. Would it help to use olive oil before I put them in? I do have an appt with my doctor in a few days. This is driving me crazy

Noelle 2 years ago

Yes, this information seems thorough and very helpful. I have a cold and my inner ear is very itchy, although it's Saturday I'll see if I can contact my I.M. doctor. Thanks!

AJ 2 years ago

I am a swimmer and would have never connected the two. The home remedy worked immediately. Great information!

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rohanfelix 2 years ago from Chennai, India

Very interesting... I've had itchy ear canals... and they're such a pain!

Tim 2 years ago

I have been dealing with Vichy ears for months I am the kind of person that sticks anything in there to take care of the itch but with all the ear infections I am getting I'm glad that I ran into your article it is 1:41 in the morning and I am up do the the ears itching like crazy thanks for giving me some idea on helping me with this issue. Great article!

Shel 2 years ago

About 2 weeks ago I was told by a doctor that I had a sinus infection, tonsillitis, and a middle ear infection. I was given Cefdinir to treat all of that. My sinus infection and tonsillitis went away but then I started having pain in my ears and along my jaw. This was disturbing my sleep and making it painful to eat. I was waking up hours earlier then I normally was crying cause of the pain. I went back to the doctors and they said I didn't have an ear infection and that my ears were "a little pink" but not red and that I probably had Eustachian Tube Dysfunction. He prescribed me Zithromax(also know as Z-Pak) to treat this to take alongside the first medication I received from the first trip to the doctors. Which really didn't help. The ear pain got worse. I eventually had the "fullness" feeling in one ear and couldn't really hear anything out of it with some ringing in the ear also. The majority of the pain has gone away now and there's some fullness. But now I have this god awful itchiness in the canals of both my ears. I'm wondering now if I was misdiagnosed and that I've had an outer ear infection this whole time.

jim d 3 years ago

I started hearing aids about 2.5 years ago. I am 57 y/o m. I have been seen by a doctor multiple times with different tries of tx.. Ear Drops, Olive Oil, Hydrocortisone, and nasal steroid and anti depressant's at night. The regular ent doctor and I are on a continued plan. There is no visible sign of infection of fungal. My blood work did not show diabetes.

As I am typing this it is 5am and my ears itch. I try not to itch them because if creates a cycle hence the anti depressant low dosage to stop any nighttime itching. I tried wearing an allergy patch with parts of the hearing aid and found the plastic did show a little irritant patch so I got an acrylic end on my hearing aid and it did not help.

The ent thinks it could be nerve damage in my vocal chords or somewhere about there. Any way my ears itch and I have not found a cure yet.

Let me ask you a question. Should I try quitting the hearing aids for a month or so - I usually only wear them Mo thr Fr 8 hrs a day. And my other question is how do I know if it is the nasal spray or the antidepressants at night that help or if it was the hearing aids.

Anyway I will keep you posted I keep a follow up with my ent.

P/S The ent said if I try to kill the nerves if could to more harm than good. This stinks

Rena Alex 3 years ago

This information in very helpful.

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GinaBina4 3 years ago from West Tennessee

Thank you so much for writing this hub. I suffer from itchy, swollen ear canals which are probably due to my year round allergies. I will be using your tips for dealing with them. Thanks again! Very helpful hub!

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Doc Wordinger 3 years ago from Manchester, UK Author

My apologies for taking so long to respond to everyone's comments. Thank you to everyone who has read the article and left a comment.

Bev - An oil/garlic infusion combines the soothing, hydrating properties of olive oil with the anti-bacterial/anti-fungal properties of garlic. Although you can buy it online, you might find it easier to make yourself (perform a quick Google search for instructions).

Rabia - I'm glad you found the hub useful and I hope you've been able to find a solution.

Nora.Zambia - Ditch those q-tips. They inflame the sensitive skin inside your ear and make the condition worse. Did your doctor help clear up the problem?

King - Thanks for sharing your success with us.

Richard W. Kimball - Did you have any success with the methods/suggestions in this article?

H SHAH MD - I'm glad you found it useful.

Kevin Peter - You're welcome! Thank you for commenting.

Whoelse - I'm sorry this article didn't contain the information you were looking for. I was attempting to focus on natural methods of treating an itchy ear canal.

Unk - Hopefully you will find success in one or a combination of the natural methods suggested in the article. Good luck.

Adutingo - Good luck and thanks for commenting.

Shonda Aq - Your comment is appreciated and thank you for reading the hub.

Judy H - Yes, excessive water in the ear can cause infection which inflames the skin and can lead to itching.

CES - I'm happy to hear that the olive oil worked wonders. Yes, unfortunately garlic does have a distinct and powerful smell. To combat this, I would advocate using it sparingly - perhaps once or twice a week.

Stephanie - I would recommend consulting another doctor if your current one has been ineffective in treating your ear complaint. As for sweet oil, this is a generic term covering all vegetable oils.

Gvortex - If you enjoy swimming, don't give it up! There are many ways to minimize water in your ears, thus lowering the risk of infection. You can find some of those methods in this hub and a Google search will bring up other recommendations.

Marion Langley - You're welcome! I know how great a q-tip feels inside an itchy ear. But ultimately it's a viscous cycle because you're making the itch worse in the long-term. Focus on eradicating the problem which causes the itch, rather than responding to the itch with q-tips.

Dan - How did it go? Please share your results with us.

Jan Shares - Thank you for reading and providing such positive feedback.

Nare Yousef - You're very welcome. Glad I could help.

Elizabeth - Good luck and thanks for your comment. - I appreciate your feedback.

C.harry - I'm very pleased to hear that you've finally found some relief after years of itching.

Fenny - Considering the problem has plagued you for years, I find it unacceptable that your doctor refuses to send you to a specialist, even though she has failed to treat the problem herself. Hopefully the olive oil (or another natural method) will work for you. If not, you should seriously think about demanding a referral to an ear specialist.

Kim - I'm sorry to hear about your problem. Although I am in no position to contest the advice or treatment offered by your personal doctor, I am surprised to read that he has not prescribed anything for your fungal infections. It sounds like you have a serious problem which is affecting your standard of life. In a situation like this where your current doctor or specialist is unable to successfully treat you, it is always worth thinking about getting a second opinion.

Kim 3 years ago

I put my ear to the water in the shower and that should take care of it. Is this right? Is there a natural way to clean my ears so the olive oil tx will be more effective? He's suctioned them 6 times since January and it just returns and is plugged and itcy within a month.

Kim 3 years ago

Thank you so much for all your insight into itchy ears. I have been battling this problem for 9 months with fungal and bacterial infections. When I have bacterial infection my ENT perscibed antibiotics and with fungal infections, nothing. He says my ears are very dry with no ear wax but I always seem to have a yellowish drainage(no odor) that then dries and plugs my left ear to the point that I can't hear! I return to the doctor, he suctions them clean and we go through the cycle again. He recommends that

Fenny 3 years ago

Very interesting comments. I will try the olive oil. My itching ears have come and gone during the last 4 years sometimes lasting for months. Nights are worse as they wake me up as I am banging the outside of my ears with my hands which I don't think is good and is painful. My docter looks at my ears once a year and says there is no wax and refuses to send me to a specialist. She has never taken a swab or suggested to. My ears do not like open windows at night if it is damp. I do have a lot of problems with eye allergies thruout the year and have rosasia. I do love to swim but haven't done much this summer. Although I am 64 I still speedskate, cycle ave of 25 km, hike, boat, garden, and other. From time to time my ears just about drive me nuts like right now.

C.harry 3 years ago

Hi I'm so pleased I phoned this site I've suffered for years with itching ears and after a few visits to a useless doctor who just said I made a lot of wax and stringed my ears I was still left with the maddening itching. I haven't been back to the docs for years and have used buds and scratched lots especially in my sleep leaving my ears quite sore. I've just used my first home treatment of olive oil and have my white cotton gloves ready for tonight to stop scratching in my sleep. I must say my ears have calmed quite a lot already but I will continue every other day and throw the buds away . Thank you :) 3 years ago

I read your article most will written. Thank-you for your help. It was helpful for me. Ease to read too. Merci! Keep doing what you are doing we all need the do's and not to do.

Elizabeth 3 years ago

I have to try your remedies. I have a dry ears -very seldom see any wax, Went to ENT Dr. and got medication for psoriasis Beta-Val, always happen during the night and is so annoying. Will try your advice-thank you

Nare yousef 3 years ago

Awesome article! I'm going to use some of these home remeidies, thank you!

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janshares 3 years ago from Washington, DC

Hello Doc Wordinger. You are a godsend!!! I have been looking for itchy ear remedies in the drug store and couldn't find anything. Then here you are, a fellow hubber. Thank you for this helpful information. I will start using the olive oil. It's good to know there are home remedies for this irritating problem. Voted up, useful, and awesome.

Dan 3 years ago

Thanks. The information has been very useful. I am going to follow the suggestions as prescribed in the future and get back to the page to report on results.

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marion langley 3 years ago from The Study

It is so bittersweet to read this. I feel better informed and ready to try the olive oil and vinegar treatments but I hate to give up the q-tip just feels so good!!! Thanks for writing this useful hub!

gvortex 3 years ago

Great advice. I too fall under the category of itchy scalp and ears. Have tried olive oil and think its helping. I didn't think about swimming, will have to stop that and try cycling or something instead. Thanks Doc.

Stephanie 3 years ago

I have itchy ears, allergies, fluid drains out some times and I might have torn an eardrum slightly by scratching while sleeping. All my terrible doctor can say is "it will resolve itself." Well it never has resolved. The olive oil helped more than any other thing. It slightly itches still; but, not as intolerable. Thanks for the tip. By the way what is sweet oil. We were taught that in school; but, I have no idea what sweet oil is.

CES 3 years ago

Your tip on olive oil worked wonders thanks!!! My advice: don't use garlic olive oil like I did lol you'll smell like garlic bread! But only thing I had at the time.

Judy H 3 years ago

I wondered if the itching in my ear was caused by excessive water as I wash my hair in the bath every couple of days. I'll try some cotton wool in my ear and see if that works. Thanks for the useful info.

Shonda Aq 3 years ago

OMGeee this information is sooooo helpful ! I have been having itchy ears, swelling and and a clear discharge in my ears for about 3 months...I don't like the feeling I have in my ears after taking a shower so I clean them with a q-tip every night...Well I had to stop that because now, I don't have any wax in my ear and they are itching like crazy. I used neosporin and my ears get well and the itch stops for a couple of days. I am going to try the olive oil for the constant itch and if that doesn't work, i'm going straight to the doctor.

Adutingo 3 years ago

My ears have been driving me crazy for a few years now! Thank you for the helpful tips. I will try them and hopefully will get some relief.

Unk 3 years ago

My MD prescribed hydrogen peroxide before a shower followed by a good rinse of the ears.

This was followed by mineral oil in the ear. All was accomplished by a dropper.

Tried for many weeks and it did not work. Will try your suggestions.

Whoelse 3 years ago

It was superficial. It would be good to see something about new research on anti inflammatories or something deepr in the medical field.

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Kevin Peter 3 years ago from Global Citizen

The hub is interesting as well as useful. I never knew that coconut oil has this kind of use too. I loved the home treatment part. The methods mentioned in this part are all so easy to be tried. Thanks a lot.

Richard W. Kimball 3 years ago

My ears started to itch about three weeks ago. Since the skin around my ear hole seemed dry, I tried putting a little petroleum jelly in them. The skin seemed to be better, but the itching continued. Your website offers a lot of things I didn't know. I'll try some of your suggestions to see if I can get rid of the itch.

King 3 years ago


I cured myself with a thyroid medicine and an elimination diet.

I had severe eczema in my ear canals. I would scratch at it and get ear infections. I thought I would eventually become deaf. I was very afraid. So I researched all of it.

I had almost no ear wax. I also had dry skin, low morning body temp, intolerance of heat/cold, very slow hair & nail growth, and other signs of low thyroid. But my thyroid blood test results showed only a bit low, but still in the normal range.

To increase ear wax production and restore normal oily skin, I took a thyroid medicine Cynoplus, which is a T4/T3 combination. I now have some ear wax and oily (not dry)skin. Before all this, I was trying all kinds of natural soaps and shampoos, body lotions, etc as the solution. Now I can use any soap or shampoo and don't need skin lotion.

I also try to have more healthy oils in my diet -- olive oil, real butter, peanut butter, etc.

Also, to fully stop eczema flare-ups, I did an elimation diet of the most common food allergens (corn, wheat, tree nuts, coffee, alcohol, gluten, etc). I found that whenever I ate the smallest amount of corn (in any form, including high fructose corn syrup [found in MANY foods and drinks], corn starch, popcorn, etc) the eczema would start within 1-2 days. This happened even after I increased my ear wax by boosting my thyroid, but the eczema was very minor -- it didn't spread to the ear canal, just at the opening and went away quickly.

I have been free of ear eczema for three months now and also feel much better overall. The Cynoplus thyroid hormone T4/T3 also cured my chronic fatigue, brain fog, frequent depression, and slow wound healing.

Research/Google elimination diet and also the symptoms of low thyroid (hypothyroidism) -- and cure yourself permanently.

If you can't afford many doctor visits or expensive U.S. medicines, or you have a doctor who is unwilling to let you try thyroid hormones, you can try another doctor -- or order online inexpensive Cynoplus from a Mexican pharmacy and start at the lowest dose. You can also order U.S. blood tests via the Internet (without a local doctor), with blood taking labs in almost every U.S. city; the test results are emailed to you.

If you can afford it, it is best to see a doctor, ask for a hard copy of blood test results, and get a prescription for U.S. medicines. Remember that even if blood tests show normal levels of thyroid hormones, but you still have many of the low thyroid symptoms, you may need to insist that your doctor let you try thyroid hormone pills -- especially if you have serious problems like eczema in you ear canal and resulting, dangerous ear infections. See if T4/T3, or T4 alone, increases ear wax production. You will know in one week if it works.

rabia 3 years ago

i hope it will work for me...this article seem to be very helpful..after lot of research on net..i found your article the best one...I itch my ear like anything when i feel like that...I went to beach once or twice and since than my ear problem started..and is increasing , On the initial stage the puss fluid used to come than lil pain with that and now itiching badly...i had antibiotics n ointment and ear drops as well..but its coming back again..helpless...

Bev 3 years ago

This is a great article, thank you. Can you tell me what "oil infused with garlic" is? Can I buy it or can I make it?

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Doc Wordinger 3 years ago from Manchester, UK Author

Withnail11- Rubbing alcohol is a liquid with many uses (you can find plenty of information online) and can be used to treat ear infections. It is especially useful at drying out ear canals which have become blocked with water - a common occurrence among swimmers which can often lead to itchy, irritated ears. Rubbing alcohol can be harsh on the skin and it is usually necessary to dilute it. Many people mix it with distilled white vinegar (an anti-bacterial and anti-fungal agent) before applying to their ears. I would strongly suggest consulting your doctor before using it as a treatment.

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Doc Wordinger 3 years ago from Manchester, UK Author

Thanks for for your comment Tony.

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Doc Wordinger 3 years ago from Manchester, UK Author

Hi Kathie, sorry to hear about your ear problems. Hopefully you'll find a solution that works for you. Good luck.

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Doc Wordinger 3 years ago from Manchester, UK Author

Thanks for your comment Healthyfitness.

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Doc Wordinger 3 years ago from Manchester, UK Author

Milo - I'm glad you found this article useful.

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Doc Wordinger 3 years ago from Manchester, UK Author

I hope it works for you Ethan!

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Doc Wordinger 3 years ago from Manchester, UK Author

I'm glad this solution worked for you and I hope the article was helpful.

Kathie Hanenberg 3 years ago

I am suffering from extreme itching in my right ear. I had mastoid surgery in that ear and it's always a problem. My dr now has me putting boric acid in that ear once a day. Since I started this my ears are itchy. I am going to try olive oil or the vinegar alcohol . I really hope it works

Milo 3 years ago

Very Useful

Tony 3 years ago

Very informative web site have bought some swimming head bands but will see doc to get infection cleared up.

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healthyfitness 3 years ago

Wow great tips! I've been meaning to go to a doctor and get a full ear canal cleaning, i've heard that the feeling is almost orgasmic!

Cute Ethan 3 years ago

My mom will follow your advice..she will try it to me soon.

Withnail11 3 years ago

Hi, what is "rubbing" alcohol?

M Smith 3 years ago

i tried the 50/50 mixed of white vingar and alcohol. Can you believe it worked the first time. I guess the internet can be helpful. Thanks

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Doc Wordinger 3 years ago from Manchester, UK Author

I have used steroid sprays myself Pamela. They are a marvelous short-term solution and provide relief very quickly. Unfortunately, they are not usually intended for long-term use. I use them very sparingly. With the go-ahead from your doctor, try a few natural remedies such as olive oil or coconut oil. In the long-run, they are far kinder to the delicate skin in the ear canal. It sounds like you may be one of millions of people who suffer from dry skin. The oil should act as a moisturizer. If you don't see any improvement at first, don't give up. Often the results are not instantaneous.

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Doc Wordinger 3 years ago from Manchester, UK Author

Itchy ears are fairly common among hearing aid wearers Julia. A little oil may help to prevent the hearing aids from aggravating the skin inside your ears. If you haven't already done so, speak to your hearing aid manufacturer first and let them know about the problem. Also, make sure your ears are completely dry before inserting your hearing aids. It is much easier to prevent water from getting inside your ears during a shower or bath than it is to dry them out afterwards.

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Doc Wordinger 3 years ago from Manchester, UK Author

Hi New York. Although the oil should help to soothe your ear, I would still advise getting your ear checked by a doctor so a diagnosis can be made. Knowing the root of the problem helps you to formulate your own course of treatment and unfortunately, olive oil is not a guaranteed cure for an itchy ear. It is, however, a safe starting point. Coconut oil is also very good.

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Doc Wordinger 3 years ago from Manchester, UK Author

Thanks for your comment Sj. White vinegar (also known as distilled vinegar) is a powerful antibacterial and anti-fungal agent and is often used as a home treatment ear infections. You should always check with your doctor before trying this method.

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Doc Wordinger 3 years ago from Manchester, UK Author

Hi Aida. I know this reply is a little late and hopefully you've cured the problem by now. Seeking an appointment with your doctor at the earliest opportunity was a sensible move. When you posted your comment, you stated that you'd only had the itch for three days. Thankfully, there is a strong possibility that it is only a temporary irritation, rather than a long-term one, but checking in with your doctor was wise. Often you can nip something in the bud that, if left untreated, have might grown into a more serious and persistent complaint.

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Doc Wordinger 3 years ago from Manchester, UK Author

Thanks Al, that's a great tip and a really important one. Scratching only worsens the problem. And what's the point in battling the itch all day long only to undo all the good work by scratching in your sleep. Cut those nails!

Pamela 3 years ago

A specialist told me that there could be a connection between itchy ears and an itchy scalp. I have both and try to control the itchy scalp as well as getting steriod spray from my doctor for the ears. Will try the olive oil treatment you suggest. I have had this recurring problem for a long time.

Julia 3 years ago

I found these items very helpful. I have been wearing H.Aids for years and suffered itch. I did not know till I read this article what a few drops of oil can do.

Sincere thanks

New York 3 years ago

Thank you....I don't feel the need to rush to a doctor right now...and I'll try the oil remedy tonight.

Sj 3 years ago

All of the above is correct. Also try vinegar or aqua ear in your ear after swimming

Aida 3 years ago

I had to find a cure for itchy ears since I have had itchy ears for the past three days. I finally called my doctor today to see if they can see me tomorrow. I found it to be helpful the home remedies. I am going to try it tonight and will still go visit the doctor's office. Better safe than sorry later on. Thanks for the information, it was really helpful

Al 3 years ago

Don't forget to cut your finger nails (especially the pinky). When sleeping you may scratch and not know it.

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Doc Wordinger 3 years ago from Manchester, UK Author

Thanks for your comment Lisa.

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Doc Wordinger 3 years ago from Manchester, UK Author

I'm glad you found this article informative Deore and thanks for your comment.

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Doc Wordinger 3 years ago from Manchester, UK Author

Thanks for your comment Wendy. Your problem seems to be a rare one so please report back if you find a solution. Perhaps you should seek a second opinion with another specialist.

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Doc Wordinger 3 years ago from Manchester, UK Author

Good luck Indigo. I hope you get an accurate diagnosis and find a treatment that works for you.

lisa 3 years ago

very informitive.......I really liked the at home health care.....but also nice to know what a doctor will be looking for and do for us. Think that I will be more advised as preventing it..............much thanks to you.

DEORE 3 years ago

very informing and educating .now dat i know , i will work to prevent ichy ears which is viirtually chronic for me.

Wendy 3 years ago

My ears are so ichy , night and day, l wake my husband up in the night because l am rubbing my ears so hard. I have been to a specialist and he has said my ear cannals are as small as a babys, l have had them syringed out by my gp on numerous occasions .

There seems to be a spot inside my ear that gets ichy when the wax (l think that is what it is) touches it. Yes l am guilty of the ear buds cause that seems to be the only relief l get and then l press so hard to stop the itch that it hurts. I am constantly rubbing them and the itch drives me crazy this has been going on for years. I keep doing the cotton buds otherwise l become deaf in the right ear and the cannal just swells up as well.

Delfina 3 years ago

Thank you doc wordinger for getting back to me with further advice. No not my own doctor or the 2 specialist I went to see took a swab, one of the specialist sent me to have a CT scan , but found nothing wrong. I'm not sure I have allergies although a sneeze sometimes during the day, I don't wake up with runny nose or shortness of breath. In the last ten years I have changed mattress's 4 times and I change my bed at least once a week and also have a Oreck air filter in my bedroom. I have tried to use olive oil on and off, but I will use it at night for the next week. Thanks again for your help, I sure hope this will go away forever.

indigo 3 years ago

thanks doc wordinger for your advice actually its supposed to be explain by my dermatologist but not,there is no swab taken and sent for analysis he told me that he can identify with naked eye i think its time to see another doc. any way i will do as you said and try other method also.

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Doc Wordinger 3 years ago from Manchester, UK Author

I'm really sorry to hear that your problem has become so serious Delfina. Has your doctor taken a swab of your ear canal and sent it to a lab for analysis yet?

I'm not sure why this problem is bothering you more at night or when you fall asleep (although it is not unusual for someone with a skin complaint to itch more during sleep). Do you suffer from any allergies? Do you find that you also wake up with a runny nose or are short of breath? People who suffer from dust mite allergies often find that their symptoms are worst when they first wake up. Beds (and fabric couches) make perfect habitats for dust mites. Fungal skin conditions can also flare up at night and cause itching. These are a couple of possible triggers to think about.

How often have you tried using olive oil? Try to be persistent and use it regularly rather than just a few times. If your ear is not producing enough wax then a substitute is probably necessary. Olive oil is good for this because it lubricates your ear and helps to keep it clean and prevent infection - all things that ear wax would otherwise do.

Don't give up. Ask to be referred to another specialist for a second opinion if necessary. Good luck.

Delfina 3 years ago

I have itchy ears for at least 15 years, but it's gotten worse in the last five years. I have seen my doctor and he first suggested ear drops, that didn't work. He sent me to see a specialist he couldn't find anything. I was finding it to be so annoying and so frustrated it kept wakening me up at night and ONLY at night so my doctor sent me to see another specialist and he said that my ear doesn't produce enough wax and also must have used Q-tips in the past, this is the reason my ear is itchy. He gave me some ear drops called DermOtic oil and told me this should help, but I would have to live with this for the rest of my life. Well that wasn't very helpful. My ear is only itchy and also gets sore at night and sometimes itchy if I fall asleep in the sofa, it wakes me up. I don't know what else to do, I also tried olive oil a few times. I hope someone could help me I'm running out of ideas this is really a terrible feeling.

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Doc Wordinger 3 years ago from Manchester, UK Author

Hi Indigo, sorry for my delayed response.

I am familiar with your problem having experienced the instant relief of prescription medication myself, followed by the return of the itch after stopping the medication. Unfortunately, as I point out in the article, medication such as steroid creams and ear drops are not a long term solution because prolonged use can damage the sensitive skin inside your ears.

I would recommended returning to your doctor and asking him if he can give you a diagnosis of the actual condition that is causing your itchy ear. This will help you to develop a long term strategy for controlling or curing the itch.

If your doctor takes a swab from your ear, it can then be sent to a laboratory for testing. You can then base your own home treatment on the results. For example, a fungal infection could be treated using a garlic and coconut oil solution (see link within the article). If you have a condition such as eczema, you might find that coconut or olive oil by itself is enough to sooth the ear and assuage the itch.

There are thousands of non-medical treatments that you can try depending on what it is that is actually causing the discomfort in your ear. You might find that simply adjusting your diet is enough. But discussing each treatment would be beyond the scope of this article. You will be able to find more detailed information relating to specific skin complains by speaking to your doctor, searching the internet and connecting with other people, via forums, who share your complaint.

One last thing. You mentioned that the itch returns immediately after you stop using the steroid medication. You should at least have a limited amount of time before the itch returns. Are you definitely following the instructions of your doctor? Applying the medication for the prescribed amount of time and in the correct dosages? Be vigilant. If you have administered the medication as prescribed and the itch returns intensely and immediately, you should return to your doctor so he can prescribe you an alternative medication; hopefully something that will give you a few weeks of respite so that you can start experimenting with your own home treatment.

Hope this helps and sorry I couldn't be more specific. Good luck.

indingo 3 years ago

thanks doc for your informative article i have itchy ear canal for the last 4 years both of it esp.the right one is terrible as it is mention above i recently knows that the ear bud was the main culprit for the problem i almost used every day afte shower i didn,t realize that before which could be a case like after i see my GP he prescribe me Rinderon-V which is in a class of drugs called steroids. but the problem is came back immediately after i stop using the medicine now what i want to know is that am i dependant of this medicine and is there a chance to stop this and back to natural staff like olive oil ? thanks !

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Doc Wordinger 3 years ago from Manchester, UK Author

Thanks Cindy. I hope it works for you.

Cindy 3 years ago

I found this article very informative, thank you very much, I am going to try the olive oil.

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Doc Wordinger 4 years ago from Manchester, UK Author

You're welcome Ritch

Ritch 4 years ago

Great article. Thanks.

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Doc Wordinger 4 years ago from Manchester, UK Author

Hi Bonnie. Good Question. The simple answer is "you can if you want but it probably won't make much difference!". Over the years, one ear specialist has recommended that I heat the oil, another has told me that it isn't necessary. Olive oil can be a little cold so heating it slightly can make it feel more comfortable in your ear canal. Warm oil can also help sooth earache. But if you're using the oil regularly to keep your ears healthy, hydrated and free of wax, heating isn't really necessary.

If you do decide to heat the oil, ensure that you don't make it too hot. The best way is to pour warm/hot tap water into a cup, then place a small bottle and dropper containing the oil into the water for a minute or two. You'll probably need to experiment a little to see how long you need to leave the oil in the water until it reaches a comfortable temperature for you. Drop some oil onto the back of your hand before dropping in your ear to make sure it isn't too hot. Once you've figured out what works, you'll be able to repeat the process quickly in future without having to test the oil on your hand first. If you don't already have a dropper, you should be able to buy one from your local high street pharmacy for a couple of dollars.

Bonnie 4 years ago

Should we warm up the olive oil?

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Doc Wordinger 4 years ago from Manchester, UK Author

If your ears are producing excessive wax Lori then this will almost certainly irritate your ear canal and cause itching. Try placing a drop of olive oil into each ear a few times a week to keep the wax soft and prevent it from drying out, hardening and blocking your ears. This will make it easier for your doctor to remove the wax - don't be tempted to do it yourself because you might pack the wax deeper into the ear. If this problem is making you self-conscious and causing you discomfort, it is essential that you see your doctor or ear specialist.

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Doc Wordinger 4 years ago from Manchester, UK Author

Hi Melly. I'm sorry to read about your ear problems. If your ears are constantly itchy and painful, the first thing you should do is visit your doctor so he can prescribe some drops to stop the itching and swelling. This will not only provide immediate relief but also break the itch-swell-itch cycle. You can then try to work out why your ears became itchy and inflamed and develop a strategy for avoiding/minimizing it in future.

Lori 4 years ago

I have waxy ears , lol! I produce a lot of wax making me self conscious about my ears. Could wax cause the ear to itch?

melly67 4 years ago

Thank you so much for this article, i have been in pain and constant itch for approx 6 months, and i am sure it is the cycle of using the ear buddies on itchy ears then they hurt and swell inside and with the hayfever i just havn't been able to leave them alone. The ear is also closed so i cannot hear anything out of it but i am sure this is from using the ear buddies, if I can follow your instructions and not touch all will be well ...?!

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Doc Wordinger 4 years ago from Manchester, UK Author

Thank you for reading and leaving a comment Mo. I agree that itchy ears can be torture. Definitely give the olive oil a try because that is a great way to naturally rehydrate and sooth the ear canal without the long term danger posed by pharmaceutical ear drops.

Mo Georges 4 years ago

I am now on my second lot of drops from GP for this problem: first in left ear and now 6 weeks later in the right. The itchng is very distressing - almost like torture. The deafness and "white noise" also unhelpful! I will try olive oil drops and see how this goes. Thanks for this useful article. Also look into reinstating my immune drops: acidophilus!

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Doc Wordinger 4 years ago from Manchester, UK Author

I'm glad you found it helpful Ms Bye. Thanks for your comment.

Ms Bye 4 years ago

Your advice was exactly what I needed to know! Until I see my doctor I will follow your advice. Very Useful!!

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Doc Wordinger 4 years ago from Manchester, UK Author

Thanks for your comment Express10. Q-Tips are bliss when you have an itchy ear but they just inflame the skin even more, making it worse.

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Express10 4 years ago from East Coast

Very useful. I only experience itching of my inner ear once every few months and I am guilty of using the Q-tips having known for years that I shouldn't. Voted up and useful.

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Doc Wordinger 4 years ago from Manchester, UK Author

Thanks for your comment rmcrayne. Acid reflux is another common problem that can sometimes be the source of itchy ears. Although I occasionally get heartburn like many people, thankfully I've never had any serious problems with reflux.

I'm glad to read that you can now control your reflux through natural methods alone. This is something that sometimes takes years of trial and error.

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Doc Wordinger 4 years ago from Manchester, UK Author

Thanks Mekenzie, your comments and feedback are greatly appreciated.

I personally have seen my Doctor for an itchy ear canal on a couple of occasions and the ear drops he prescribed played a crucial role in getting rid of the itch quickly. An ear specialist told me that although prescription drops are okay to use for a short time, prolonged use can actually cause the ear harm.

If you suffer from allergies and you get a runny nose and red eyes (due to histamine release from hay-fever, dust, etc) there is a pretty good chance that the allergies caused your itchy ears as well. Antihistamines alone might be enough to clear up the itch in this case.

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Mekenzie 4 years ago from Michigan

I did find this topic interesting since I never knew what caused itchy ears. I had them for a few years off and on and figured they were allergy related. The itch disappeared on its own and I hope it never comes back ... it drove me crazy. lol

Great article, I guess I learned it might have been a good idea to see a Doc. but I never thought of it at the time.

Thanks, Voted up and useful.


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rmcrayne 4 years ago from San Antonio Texas

Great topic! It took me many years to figure out that my itchy ear canals are related to my reflux (LTR or EER). The "cure" is then strategies for reflux (I no longer take prescription or OTC meds, only natural treatments).

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