Ear Itch
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Reviewed By:

Eric A. Gantwerker, MD, MMSC

Eric A. Gantwerker, MD, MMSC (Otolaryngology (ENT))

Pediatric Otolaryngologist at Northwell Health and Associate Professor of Otolaryngology at Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell. He holds a Master of Medical Science (MMSc) in Medical Education with a special focus on educational technology, educational research, and game-based learning from Harvard Medical School and a Master of Science in Physiology and Biophysics from Georgetown University. He has a special interest in faculty development and has been a speaker or faculty at hundreds of local, national, and international courses and conferences. He is also an active blogger and podcaster for several organizations, including the Harvard Macy Institute (HMI), Harvard Medical School CME Online, and BackTable Innovations. He has been featured in the news and print for media outlets such as USA Today, Businesswire, The Washington Post, Nature Medicine, Fox News, and KevinMD. He was also the Vice President, Medical Director of a medical video game company, Level Ex from 2018 to 2023 that utilized game technology and psychology to create interactive experiences for healthcare professionals. | He is recognized as an expert on the implementation of educational technologies and gaming with a foundation in educational theory for health professions education. He was honored to be inducted as an Associate Member of the American College of Surgeons (ACS) Academy of Master Surgeon Educators and as an Associate Fellow of the Association for Medical Education in Europe (AMEE).

Rohini R, MD

Rohini R, MD (Otolaryngology (ENT))

Dr. Rohini R is an ENT, Head and Neck Surgeon, with a Fellowship in Advanced Endoscopic Sinus and Skull Base Surgery and a Fellowship in Aesthetic Medicine and Lasers. Besides clinical practice and working with Ubie, she is actively training and mentoring medical students and residents. She has functioned in various work settings - teaching hospitals, private and free health centers, and worked with patients from all socioeconomic backgrounds due to her experience in free hospitals and volunteering in India and Singapore.

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Content updated on Apr 4, 2024

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  • Itching in the ears

  • Itch in the ears

  • Ears are itchy

  • Ear itch

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About the Symptom

It describes the itching sensation felt in one or both ears, which can be quite uncomfortable. It could be from irritation or inflammation of the outer ear canal from infection or eczema, but can also be due to environmental allergies affecting the eustachian tube (drainage tube connecting the middle ear to the back of the nose).

Possible Causes

Generally, Ear itch can be related to:

  • Ear Infection

    Infection of the middle ear (area just behind the eardrum) by bacteria or viruses. Contributing factors include nasal obstruction by adenoids and allergic rhinitis. The symptoms can include ear pain or fullness, fevers, and muffled hearing. This is more common in children but can also present in adults. In severe cases, the eardrum may rupture leading to drainage coming out the ear canal.

  • Migraine

    A type of headache that typically presents as throbbing, pulsating pain on one side of the head, sometimes with associated nausea or sensitivity to light and sound. Sometimes, sensory disturbances, such as vision changes (seeing flashing lights or zigzag lines), can occur before the headache. The pain may worsen on exposure to bright lights or loud noise. Triggers for migraine include stress, poor sleep, caffeine, and hormonal changes in women.

  • Pruritus

    Pruritus is the sensation of itchy skin. Causes vary greatly from dry skin, infections, skin conditions, allergies, and other internal diseases.

Related serious diseases

Sometimes, Ear itch may be related to these serious diseases:

  • Perforated Tympanic Membrane

    A hole in the eardrum. It is typically caused by direct injury, but can also be caused by severe infections in the middle ear (otitis media).

Doctor's Diagnostic Questions

Your doctor may ask these questions to check for this symptom:

  • Do your ears itch?

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Find Similar Symptoms

Symptoms from similar body parts

References

  • Ear Itch - WebMD

    https://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/ear-infection/why-do-my-ears-itch

  • Otitis Externa - PubMed

    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32310515/

  • Ear Eczema - Cleveland Clinic

    https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/21842-ear-eczema

Reviewed By:

Eric A. Gantwerker, MD, MMSC

Eric A. Gantwerker, MD, MMSC (Otolaryngology (ENT))

Pediatric Otolaryngologist at Northwell Health and Associate Professor of Otolaryngology at Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell. He holds a Master of Medical Science (MMSc) in Medical Education with a special focus on educational technology, educational research, and game-based learning from Harvard Medical School and a Master of Science in Physiology and Biophysics from Georgetown University. He has a special interest in faculty development and has been a speaker or faculty at hundreds of local, national, and international courses and conferences. He is also an active blogger and podcaster for several organizations, including the Harvard Macy Institute (HMI), Harvard Medical School CME Online, and BackTable Innovations. He has been featured in the news and print for media outlets such as USA Today, Businesswire, The Washington Post, Nature Medicine, Fox News, and KevinMD. He was also the Vice President, Medical Director of a medical video game company, Level Ex from 2018 to 2023 that utilized game technology and psychology to create interactive experiences for healthcare professionals. | He is recognized as an expert on the implementation of educational technologies and gaming with a foundation in educational theory for health professions education. He was honored to be inducted as an Associate Member of the American College of Surgeons (ACS) Academy of Master Surgeon Educators and as an Associate Fellow of the Association for Medical Education in Europe (AMEE).

Rohini R, MD

Rohini R, MD (Otolaryngology (ENT))

Dr. Rohini R is an ENT, Head and Neck Surgeon, with a Fellowship in Advanced Endoscopic Sinus and Skull Base Surgery and a Fellowship in Aesthetic Medicine and Lasers. Besides clinical practice and working with Ubie, she is actively training and mentoring medical students and residents. She has functioned in various work settings - teaching hospitals, private and free health centers, and worked with patients from all socioeconomic backgrounds due to her experience in free hospitals and volunteering in India and Singapore.

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