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Itchy Inner Ear

An itchy inner ear generally tends to result from infection from bacteria or viruses. The condition is more often tends to affect the children rather than adults. An itchy inner ear is usually caused due to two types of ear infections, i.e. infections of the external or the outer ear and infections of the middle ear.

Outer ear infection or otitis externa is generally caused due to infection of the outer ear by bacteria, pathogens or other germs. Such infections of the ear may or may not result in an itchy inner ear.

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The middle ear or the inner ear consists of the ear canal and other components of the middle ear. When bacteria, viruses and other pathogens infect the inner ear and other areas of the ear canal, then it results in the development of middle ear infection or otitis media. Such an infection can result in an itchy inner ear.

Symptoms of itchy inner ear

There are several symptoms of an itchy inner ear in adults as well as children. Some of the signs are discussed below:

An itchy inner ear caused due to outer ear infections-

  • Individuals may experience excessive itching as well as irritation in the inner regions of the ear
  • When an individual moves his/her head or when he/she touches an infected ear, then he/she may have increased sensations of pain
  • There may be a discharge of pus-like liquids from the affected ears
  • There may be facial or ear flushing. The infected ears may be increasingly red in color.
  • The body temperature may rise rapidly along with excessive instances of fever.
  • The skin on the affected ears tends to become a lot more scaly and dry. This may eventually lead to flaking of the skin.

An itchy inner ear caused due to middle ear infections-

  • The hearing abilities may impair or diminish
  • Individual may have to endure severe and intense pain
  • A discharge from the insides of the ear which is water-like
  • The sore may have increased sensations of soreness

Some of other rare symptoms of an itchy inner ear are listed below:

  • Bowel disturbances or diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Increased incidence of fever often accompanied by headaches become a common phenomenon
  • Individuals may have difficulties in sleeping
  • Simple acts such as laying down on the bed may caused extreme ear pain
  • Individuals may experience a minor loss in their sense of balance
  • There may be sensations of increased pressure in the ears along with feelings of fullness
  • The individual may become excessively irritable
  • Loss of appetite or decreased appetite
  • Continuous irritation of the affected ears may cause the individual to become excessively fidgety

It is very important for the parents to promptly treat instances of an itchy inner ear or ear infections in their children, else it may lead to delays in the development of speech and other such factors. Such deficiencies in development will eventually lead to an abnormal childhood and a dysfunctional adulthood.

In rare cases, the infections of an itchy inner ear may spread to other areas of the body and affect organs such as the lungs, the brain, etc. This will definitely lead serious medical consequences.

Causes of itchy inner ear

  • Most cases of an itchy inner ear are caused due to infection of the ear by bacteria or viruses or the deposition of other microorganisms either in the outer ear or the middle ear. Allergies and common illness such as cold or flu which lead to blockage of the nasal airways or inflammation of the throat or the ear canal can also cause infection of the ear or the nearby tissues resulting in an itchy inner ear.

Some other causes and risk factor for developing an itchy inner ear are discussed below:

  • Individuals with a strong family history of ear infections and seasonal allergies are at greater risk to developing an itchy inner ear
  • Swelling or inflammation of the adenoid glands may lead to clogging of the Eustachian tubes that can result in pain as well as an itchy inner ear
  • Individuals who have been exposed to tobacco smoke or polluted air for prolonged periods are at increased vulnerability to develop an itchy inner ear
  • Children as well as adults are highly susceptible to catch cold or flu during colder seasons and alternating climates. This increases the risk to developing an itchy inner ear.

Treatment of itchy inner ear

  • Prescription antibiotics can be used to treat an itchy inner ear caused due to bacterial infections
  • A warm compress can be used to alleviate the accompanying pain
  • Other medications such as eardrops and painkillers may also help in reducing the pain and treating infections and other such symptoms of an itchy inner ear
  • Preventive measures include the avoidance of polluted environments. Also, one may boost one’s immune system through regular exercise and a healthy diet to fight common diseases such as cold and flu, thereby effectively avoiding an itchy inner ear.
  • Individuals with severe instances of itchy inner ears should consult an ENT specialist for proper treatment.
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