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What Causes Itchy Ears and Throat?

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an ENT specialist checking his patient's throat

Itchy ears and throat can be caused by a number of different things. In most cases, it may be something minor like the common cold or allergies, which are not a cause for concern. However, these symptoms could be an indication of a more serious problem, so you may need to seek the advice of an ENT doctor. These are some of the potential causes of itchy ears and throat. 

Ear infections 

If you notice an itching sensation in your ear, this could be an indication that you have an ear infection or you are developing one. Ear infections can be caused by the bacteria and viruses in people that have the common cold. In some cases, it may also be because the ear is blocked with excess wax or you have water trapped in your ear. If you see an ENT doctor, they will be able to identify the cause of the ear infection and suggest a course of treatment to clear it up. 

Usually, this will be enough to solve the problem. However, some people experience chronic ear infections that keep recurring, and that is a sign that you have a more serious ear health issue. If this is the case, you need to see an ENT doctor so they can identify the underlying reason behind your recurring ear infections. 

Dry ears 

Oil and wax in the ear play a very important role as it helps to keep your ears clean and healthy. But a lot of people make the mistake of cleaning out their ears too often and removing the oil and wax. This then leads to dry ears that get very itchy. If you have dry ears, you will notice flaky skin on the outside of the ear, as well as an itching sensation. Changing your cleaning habits should rectify this problem but if it persists, you should see an ENT doctor

Skin conditions 

Certain skin conditions may also cause itchy ears. Things like psoriasis, eczema and dermatitis all lead to dry flaky skin and itchiness. If these conditions affect other areas of your body, it is possible that they are the cause of your ear health problems as well. The standard treatments that you normally use should work around the ear area as well, but you should always seek the advice of an ENT doctor before applying treatment to the area. 

Allergic rhinitis 

Allergic rhinitis, more commonly known as hay fever, can cause itching in the ear and also affect your throat health. It is caused by an allergic reaction to things like pollen, dust mites or animal fur. Symptoms include itchy ears and throat as well as watery eyes, a runny nose, headaches and sneezing. It is particularly bad in the summer so if you notice that you have itchy ears and an itchy throat when the weather is warm, that may be a sign that you have hay fever. If you take some over the counter medication, this should alleviate the problem but if you do not notice a change then you should see an ENT doctor. 

Food allergies 

Food allergies are another common cause of throat health issue and they can also cause itchy ears in some cases. A mild food allergy will cause itchiness in the throat, mouth or ears but more serious allergies can be life-threatening. Allergies can also develop over time so if you notice a reaction after eating certain foods, it is important that you seek medical advice and have yourself tested. 

Medication allergies 

If you are on a new medication and you notice that you have itchy ears or an itchy throat, there is a possibility that you are having an allergic reaction to the drugs. If this is the case, speak with your doctor and see whether there are any alternatives to the medication that you could take instead. 

Bacterial and viral infections 

Bacterial and viral infections have a big impact on your throat health. In the early stages of an infection, you will notice an itching sensation in your throat, which will develop into a more severe sore throat. In some cases, you may have a common cold or the flu, which will pass in their own time. But itchy and sore throats can also be caused by more serious bacterial and viral infections such as strep throat and tonsillitis. In this case, it is best to see an ENT doctor for treatment. 

If you notice itchiness in your ears and throat, it may be a symptom of a more serious problem that requires treatment, so you should see an ENT doctor.  You can get in touch with Mountain Ear, Nose & Throat Associates today using the following numbers at Sylva: 828-586-7474 Franklin: 828-524-5599, Murphy: 828-835-1014 and New Asheville: 828-458-8100