Hearing management

Posted by: mike | 2004/10/01


constant itch in ear, wax production excessive?

Dear Doc
I experience an itch in my ear that makes me try to clean my ears throughout the day. Not only is it inconvenient and annoying - I'm worried about damageing my hearing. Is it a bacterial/fungal infection - ecxema? Is there some sort of cream, liquid to cure it? My ears don't smell or have a brown wax discharge previousely mentioned, no pain/swelling either. Just a bad itch. Thanx

Expert's Reply


Hearing Expert

Dear Mike

The unfortunate thing about what you describe is that it becomes a vicious circle. The more you clean your ears, the less protection the skin in the canal has, the more prone it is to bacterial infections and then the more itchy it will become. There is a lot of good reasons why we shouldn't clean our ears with earbuds:
- We interfere with the natural process of the ear to clean itself
- We remove the wax that lines the ear and serves as a anti-bacterial layer
- We could compact the wax and it could form a wax plug over time
- We could injure or damage the skin in the earcanal or the eardrum

There is a possibility that you might have eczema, infection or it could just be that the ear is irritated because of the cleaning. Try to keep the ear dry and don't clean it and if you still feel uncomfortable, let your GP have a look. They can prescribe an ointment for you.

I hope this helps
Best wishes
Izabelle Pieterse

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