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I Feel Dizzy and My Ear Itches: What Does it Mean?

By: Kathryn Senior PhD - Updated: 22 Aug 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Earache Dizziness Otitis Otitis Media

Q.

I need your help please. I've been having a weird feeling inside my head. It's not like a headache but it makes me feel dizzy. My ear is always itchy inside and it's driving me crazy.

What is causing this and what can I do about it?

(D.C, 19 February 2009)

A.

Firstly, we have to make it clear that any advice we give is not a substitute for checking this problem with your own doctor. He or she will be in a much better position to tell you what is wrong by actually speaking with you and by examining you.

Having said that, the symptoms you describe are often associated with an ear infection called otitis externa. There are two main sorts of ear infection, otitis externa and otitis media. Each one has slightly different systems because of the different parts of the ear that are involved.

In otitis externa, the infection is in the outer ear, not the inner ear. It is very common in people who swim a lot. Either bacteria or fungi have got into the outer ear and this usually happens when the ear is often wet and the water from swimming pools can obviously carry all sorts of bugs, despite the chlorine. It can also start because of inflammation caused by an irritant. Getting hair dye or hairspray or hair gel in your ear if your skin is sensitive can be enough to irritate the skin. Rubbing and scratching the very outer part of the ear then causes more inflammation and the skin then becomes very prone to infection.

As well as itching, it is common for there to be some discharge and an earache that is worse when you move the ear lobe or jaw. Do your symptoms get worse after eating? Your hearing may also not be as good as usual and you might have a low-grade fever. Dizziness is, however, more of a symptom of otitis media, an ear infection where the inner ear is affected. You can also feel sick with this, more so than with otitis externa. This is because the inner ear controls the normal body perception of motion and is responsible for balance. Disturbances of motion, such as on a ferry in a rough sea, confuse the brain because of the say the fluid is moving in the inner ear – which is why we get sea-sick.

We would strongly suggest seeing your doctor to check the ear out. Most ear infections resolve on their own but the GP may suggest some ear drops or even antibiotics if the ear infection is serious and is caused by a bacterium. In the meantime, avoid swimming and keep the ear as dry as possible in the shower. Try not to irritate it further by scratching and rubbing and try taking a mild painkiller such as paracetamol if you know you are OK to take this type of medication as it can help with the itching and any earache.

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I have noticed my ears are producing more sticky staff, itching and in the middle of last year I started to feel dizzy occasionally, also sometimes feel sharp pain on either side of my forehead, sharp pains or needles on my arms,legs and dizziness usually lasts for few days and disappear.what could be a reason for this? Please help!!
Luba - 22-Aug-17 @ 9:10 PM
I have been having ear trouble since last weak.ihave shooting pain after 2-3 Hour and pain was going the throat... .i also have pain andulcer on left side on my palate........
Sapna - 7-Jun-13 @ 6:08 PM
I've been having all these syptoms for a yr now and they just found out it to sinus and polyops
Kirst - 22-Jul-12 @ 9:28 AM
Last year I had several very disturbing occurances of dizziness which was followed by loss of vision to the right side (when covering the right eye, the loss of vision was still there for the left eye, a strange white and black fuzzy pattern similar to a 'scrambled' tv channel) and also a loss of feeling in my right arm and leg which usually returned to normal within a day or two. My speech and ability to type are also affected. After going to the dr's repeatedly, they arranged a scan on my head. The results were lost, I waited 5 more months and had another scan, they didn't contact me and when I called they simply said nothing was found but didn't give me any further help. I waited several weeks but the problem happened twice more, I went back to the dr and this time was accused of lying in order to try and be signed off of work. I haven't been back since.A little over six weeks ago, I began feeling a strange sensation in my left ear, almost as if there was something lodged in there. When attempting to clean my ears, nothing was found and in fact they seem quite dry and normal. It is not a pain as such, but a great, permanent discomfort. The left ear is getting worse with this and now finally a few days ago my right ear has begun to have the same strange sensation. The sensation is so strong in the left ear particularly, that sometimes I have strange dreams to do with my ears and I'm waking up multiple times in the night. I called the dr today to try and get an appointment but they said there isn't one available for another 5 weeks. I'm now not only beginning to feel extremely let down by my local gp surgery (I'm not allowed to register at the next nearest one due to postcode), but also becoming very worried that something may be seriously wrong. Sometimes I'm having to ask people to repeat what they're saying to me, yet far off or quiet sounds I can easily hear.
KentDave - 26-Jan-12 @ 10:55 PM
For sue, I have been having same trouble with my right ear as you, itchy, making a noise when I move it, dizzy feeling, but also been suffering with dry throat feeling, been to see doctors many times and keep getting different explanation of each one I see, but lately been told I have exzma in the ear, which explains the itchey feeling. Can't get to the bottom of the dizzy feeling, at the same time I suffer with sinusitis which can cause my ear problems to occur hope this helps a little.
kel - 1-Oct-11 @ 11:58 AM
For many months now my left ear has been very itchy, leaking fluid and making a strange noise, I have also been losing my balance, I have been to my GP a few times regarding this problem he confirmed there was no infection and gave me prochlorperazine tablets but the problem is still there. I visited my GP again today and again he confirmed there is no infection but has done nothing and I still am suffering. Can you please advise me.
sue wilko - 18-Aug-11 @ 12:31 PM
Why do I still fell dizzy. I take stugeron 15 the doctor told me I had crrystals in my ears please help what can I do?
lols girl - 20-Jun-11 @ 10:51 AM
I have read the reports on hearing damage due to head phones but is there any evidence to suggest that digital headphones can cause loss of balance and dizziness? I do not have any infection or vertigo but while playing the keyboard in particular I experience loss of balance.!!
Margaret Brown - 24-May-11 @ 8:58 PM
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