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    Excessive ear canal itching and fluid discharge
    ram0009 posted:
    Hello. I am considerably new here, but have used the site for a considerable amount of time. That aside, I have been experiencing, for the past 4 years, excessive itching in my ears followed by fluid discharge. I have been to numerous doctors, ENT's, and such, all to no avail. On average I go through a box of 750 q-tips in 1-2 months, depending on the severity (it changes over time, getting worse or better randomly). I notice a lot that it is most present right after I wake up, or on 6 hour intervals thereafter within normal situations. As of late, it has worsened (3 hours or less), and it seems just as I get over one infection, another one develops in the opposite ear. I have had ear drops, eye drops, and anti-biotics prescribed to me (including sulfa based anti-biotics which I found I was allergic to due to excessive rashes and nightmares). I've gotten so frustrated, as I'm only 18 and I am somewhat consistently in some sort of pain, with it that I have given up looking for answers and have dealt with it, but it is once again controlling my life.

    On a side note, as of late with this ear infection I have noticed a burning sensation in my lungs (mild, but tingles). I'm not sure if they are related but may provide some sort of insight into what is happening.

    Other Issues/diagnose:

    I have been diagnosed with Hashimoto's Thyroiditis and am currently taking Synthroid 200?g daily.

    Any help or insight would be much appreciated.

    Rod Moser, PA, PhD responded:
    RIchard...having that much otorrhea (ear drainage) is NOT normal. The fluid can only be coming from two possible areas -- the ear canal and the middle ear space (the area on the other side of the eardrum). If it is coming from your middle ear, then you would have a breach in the integrity of your eardrum -- a rupture.

    Itching in the ear canal is often a sign of atopic dermatitis, which can "weep", and easily get secondarily infected. This is more of an skin condition than a true ear infection, but some may call it chronic otitis externa. Without the ability to examine you, this is only a guess. Atopic dermatitis often requires some on-going treatment, and the use of Q-tips tend to make it worse. If the ENT is not able to offer a definitive reason for this discharge, a dermatologist may need to be consulted.

    Clearly, there is a reason and so far, the treatments have not be successful, so you will need to take your evaluation to a higher level -- either see a different ENT (first) and consult a dermatologist IF the ENT cannot find an "ear reason" for this annoying symptom.
    AnnNathanael responded:
    I have suffered with this same problem now for about 3 years. i have used just as many q-tips as you a day or more. I first want to say it is so frustrating not getting answers and having to cope on your own with these issues. drs mean well but seem to put bandaids on many problems. I had been gradually having different problems which led up to the ear problem (though i have been extremely healthy my whole life). I was having stomache problems, side pain, nauseousness, (this was over a period of 15 yrs) (im 41 now) i started getting dizzy, night sweats, extreme fatigue (like an 90 yr old), arthritis symptoms, headaches, insomnia etc. and all along i was told i was healthyand that all my blood tests were normal. It was only when i fell into my bathroom as i got up one morning that got my doctor and couldn't lift a 1 pound weight (this was progressive) i was diagnosed with irritable bowel lactose intolerant, Gird/ acid reflux, psoriasis on arms and told that was my ear problem also. It was my ear dr who told me i had Candadiasis which is overgrown fungus in the body (we all have good/bad flora/fungus) and i went on a diet of PROTEIN and VEGETABLES(eat together) only and NO SUGAR (=no carbohydrates which turn to sugar/no vinagar, or alcohol which is yeasty=fungus) and i took PROBIOTICS (A MUST) after 5 days most symptoms immediately went and others went gradually, i no longer needed traction therapy, my headaches went, weakness went, dizziness went, insomnia went, arthritis symptoms went, pain in my side went, even the itchyness in the ears went as long as i avoid the sugar and try to keep balanced with the probiotics and healthy food. the good flora in our body gets killed and overridden by the bad flora when we 1 are under stress, 2 taking antibiotics and from other types of stress like surgery's 3 our diet is a big factor because most people in the usa live on carbohydrates and sugary drinks. there is sugar in everything=sauces on our meats and vegetables and all drinks have some type of sugar even if its natural. Ive also been told that some people have the condition known as weeping ear which was described to me as when the ear is no longer producing enough wax and it causes the ear to get dry=psoriasis and then weeps fluid to help itself. For me i dont' know if the itchyness and dryness is caused by the fluid or the dryness is causing the fluid but ive noticed if im eating healthy avoiding sugar and i use the oil drops my ears start feeling normal again. I I hope this helps you or others who read this. The oil i've tried for the ears is called DermOtic oil and Culturelle (green/white box=glulten free=dairy free) is a great probiotic. Sincerly, Ann
    An_247325 responded:
    Not sure if you are over your ear drainage and itching.

    I am combatting the same thing...but this is the first time in 25 years my inner ear does not itch.

    My issue was much yeat in my body...Drains, starch, stress and sugar feed yeast. I have been on priobiotics and yeast killer for a couple months and the itching has stopped and my ears are draining. I am also on a Lymph detox

    I'm a homeopathic and hoistic I found all my remedies at a really good health food market.

    You might look into the same and consider changing your diet.
    Rod Moser, PA, PhD replied to An_247325's response:
    How was your Candida (yeast) accurately diagnosed? Did you have a fungal culture?

    I am glad your holistic approached helped you, but as you may know, not all itchy ears are the same.
    An_249386 responded:
    I have been struggling with this for last 15 years, visited lots of doctors and labs, but no explanation.

    I do agree with sugar and dairy related post it makes difference in my case, in addition weather changes make condition worse.

    I hope to get some ideas here for how to manage it, if we can not cure it.

    Thanks to all posters including doctor
    Rod Moser, PA, PhD replied to An_249386's response:
    Treatment depends on your exact diagnosis -- the underlying reason. Unfortunately, until you can be accurately diagnosed, discussing any type of management would likely be premature. People with similar complaints do not always have identical problems.
    skipadee replied to Rod Moser, PA, PhD's response:
    Is colloidal silver ever used as ear drops to treat weeping, itchy ears?
    Rod Moser, PA, PhD replied to skipadee's response:
    I don't use I have no experience with it.
    yippyiay replied to skipadee's response:
    Interesting on the timing of your question. One month ago I started using colloidal silver. I am 59 and have had intensely itching ears and discharge my entire life. No relief in sight and many doctors later I gave up. I noticed that when I took antibiotics there would be relief and sometimes antifungal drops helped too. I also found that hydrogen peroxide dropped directly in the ear cleaned them well, and that I did not need q tips when I used the peroxide. I let the bubbles clean the ear and drain them onto a cotton ball.
    As a result, no I am not cured, but when I clean my ears with the hydrogen peroxide, and I now use mullein garlic oil for ear drops, reclean with peroxide, and follow up with colloidal silver, it takes the edge off better than anything I have ever used. I can now function more normally, and actually sleep at night.

    The hydrogen peroxide actually can burn a bit sometimes, but on the whole helps scratch that itch, without actually scratching.
    yippyiay replied to yippyiay's response:
    One more thing that helped tremendously is the ear popper. Much of the time my ear canal issue would somehow invade my middle ear and cause me huge pain. The ear popper added to my above regimen completes my plan. Again, it all helps.
    thrtnastrx replied to yippyiay's response:
    I had the same problem for years and finally went to a dermatologist and she gave me Clobetasol Popionate Topical Solution 0.05% and it cleared it up in two days. Went from 25 Q-Tips/day to 2/week.
    polinio replied to thrtnastrx's response:
    Thanks for your post. I have experienced the same condition on and off for years. It occasionally becomes inflamed and tender to tugging of the ear but it responds to antibiotic/cortisone drops. Recently, however, along with the inflammation of the outer ear canal I developed a sense of fullness and a loud humming sound which has been diagnosed by an ENT as hearing loss at lower frequencies. I have been put on high doses of prednisone for 12 days (still taking it).

    Has anyone experienced a progression like this. I'm concerned that this is a case of chronic viral or fungal infection which has now moved into my inner ear.
    jessiwar responded:
    I've been dealing with this for about a year now. The drainage is clear no smell. If I don't clean w Q-tips it forms a dry crust along the inside and slighlty outer part of the canal. I had several drs tell me i was fine and they couldn't see anything wrong. One ear, nose and throat dr actually laughed. None were helpful. I guess if I cleaned them, by the middle of the day the drainage was down and they saw no evidence of an infection. Still one dr put me on antibiotics and the did help. Also some drops which helped a little. I finally found a new ears, nose and throat dr that saw the infection. Turns out my ear canals are very narrow and hard to see in. He put me on drops that only worked while I took them. Then he added another to alternate with that also only worked while I was on them. Then he finally decided to "paint" my ear canals. Its a purple paint to treat the infection.mThe first nighttthe ear leakage had purple die running down my face. I held ooff on q-tipping and use ear putty for showers. I was told i could lightly use a qtip and now the purple seems to be totally out. however, the drainage and itching hasnt stopped. So Im hoping thats normal and there is still a chance it will clear up. He said this method hasn't failed him yet. I have to say, just finding someone to actually try to help is a big relief. He also had me quit sugar and asked me to take a pediatric probiotic since my stomach was too sensitive for reg probiotics. Keeping fingers crossed.
    willamette responded:
    nnally tried something that seems go make it better. The itching made me crazy. I had some hemorrhoid pads which are witch hazel with some other ingredients. If I pat the outer ear gently with no rubbing it works. It stops the drainage and itching almost immediately. I stopped using tips and I tilt my head so the liquid from the and doesn't drain into my inner ear. I used to use Protopic. But it needs reapplication every other day and one side effect is leukemia.

    Try the Preparation-H pads and see what happens. I also have the same thing on my hairline neck. It helps that too.

    Let me know.

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