Ear mites are microscopic arthropods that live in the ear canal and cause some signs and discomfort to the host. Ear mites in humans are relatively rare but quite widespread in animals, especially pets.
Different types of mites can infect the ears of humans or animals. Otodectes cynotis (Gk. oto=ear, dectes=biter, cynotis=of the dog) are the most common species, but not the only ones. Other mites, including Demodex, can also cause ear problems. This article of Ozidex examines the similarities, differences, symptoms, prevention, and common treatments of ear mites in humans.
A Brief Introduction to Mites
Both mites, ticks, and spiders belong to the arthropod branches of the family tree; in other words, they are relatives. However, mites are closer to ticks than they are to spiders. On the other hand, they are much smaller than ticks and can barely be seen with the naked eye.
Interestingly, mites are the most diverse and successful invertebrates on Earth. Many of them live in the soil, yet some live as parasites on animals, and plants.
Although some mites can only survive on humans and animals, they often live in humid places (such as within the home) and feed on organic matter like dust. Most of these organic substances include dead cells from human skin, fungi, and small food particles spread across the surface of the home and garden.
Each adult mite has eight tiny legs. In a humid atmosphere, bedding may hold up to 12,000 dust mites per gram. Although it may vary, the average lifespan of a mite is 80 days.
Let’s get to know humans ear mites in more detail: Otodectes cynotis and the Demodex mite.
Ear Mites in Humans
Otodectes Cynotis is the most common type of ear mite, mainly found in pets and can jump from one animal to another through direct contact. Although it is uncommon, it can be transmitted from pets to humans leading to annoying symptoms.
This type of mite needs a host to survive and can not last on environmental surfaces. If you allow your pets to sleep in your bed or on sofas, the ear mite may be transferred from their body to the bed or sofa and then attached to you. It is also possible when you play with an infected animal; you pick up the mite as well.
Demodex mites are not usually referred to as ear mites in humans, but studies in recent years have shown that this type of mite can also cause complications in the human ear.
Unlike Otodectes, Demodex mite is not shared between humans and animals. To be more precise, the species of Demodex mite on an animal body is different from the species that can survive on the human body. So, fortunately, animal Demodex ear mites are not transmitted to humans and vice versa.
There are two types of Demodex mites on human skin: Demodex Brevis and Demodex folliculorum.
Unlike the previous type (Otodectes), Demodex is not considered a parasite as long as it is low in population. In other words, there are always a few Demodex mites living on our skin naturally. However, if they become too numerous, their function becomes parasitic and damages the human body.
Demodex lives in pores of the skin – inside the follicles and sebaceous glands – and usually prefers oily areas. For this reason, they may choose in or around the ear canal to feed on the superabundant resources in the area.
Signs of Ear Mites in Humans
When pets get ear mites, they constantly scratch their head. This is because of the itching and discomfort they feel within the ear area. Coffee grounds resembling substance may also come out of their ears.
Please note that if you see these symptoms in your pet, seek treatment as soon as possible to prevent ear mites from jumping to others and yourself.
Symptoms of ear mites in humans include:
- Itching and sensations of other activity
- Redness around ears
- Black wax in the ear
- Ear irritability
- tinnitus (ringing, buzzing, or humming noise in the ear)
- A sense of fullness or pressure in the ear
- Consistent skin flaking
If left untreated in humans, ear mites can damage the ear canal and cause constant hearing problems.
The symptoms we mentioned above are more common in the case of Otodectes infection. Although some of these symptoms are the same for Demodex, others can be different. For example, one of the symptoms of demodectic mange in your ears is a condition called ‘Demodectic Frost of the Ear’:
Demodectic Frost of the Ear
In this case, the ear lobe and its upper part become thick, red, and scaly. This condition is called Demodectic Frost of the Ear because it is similar to frostbite.
Itching, burning, redness, and irritability of the ear are other symptoms of Demodex mite in the human ear similar to those of Otodectes.
In addition to the above, people whose ears have a Demodex infection are more likely to have symptoms in other parts of their body. As we have said, the symptoms of Demodex appear when their numbers have increased. This large number in their populations are likely to cause problems in other areas of the body, especially oily areas such as the face, scalp, chest, and back.
What Other Dermatological Problems Can People with Demodex Ear Mites Develop?
Demodex can aggravate or even cause a variety of skin and hair problems as they increase. We will cover some of these problems in this part of the article. Having a few problems at the same time can indicate that you are infected with Demodex:
- hair loss
- Thinning hair
- Changes in skin texture and colour
Ear Mite Diagnosis
Diagnosis of ear mites in animals is usually via clinical examination. A specialist examines the pet’s health and symptoms. In addition, they may observe inside the ear using an otoscope. However, because the mites are so tiny, the doctor can not see them. Examination of ear discharge under a microscope can determine the presence of mites.
In humans, the diagnosis of ear mites can be similar to that of animals. Besides, If there is a possibility of an infestation of mites within the ear, it may be challenging to get a Demodex diagnosis from a health professional like a doctor or dermatologist.
Because Demodex can affect other parts of the human body in addition to the ear, using an online Demodex diagnostic test can be very helpful. This test estimates the density of Demodex based on clinical signs and some general questions. Although this test is not specific to the ear, it generally indicates how likely you are to be infested with Demodex. If the mite density is high in your body, it is likely that your ear problem can also be caused by the same mite.
How to Prevent Ear Mites
When it comes to preventing Otodectes mites, the most important thing is to keep a close eye on your pets. Monitor them, and if they show signs of ear mites, seek treatment immediately.
If you see these signs, avoid direct contact with them and do not let them sleep in your bed or on your furniture until the issue has been remedied.
In the case of Demodex mites, as we have said, almost all of us have these mites, and the important thing is to avoid them over-populating. How?
By strengthening the immune system, maintaining personal hygiene, avoid sharing personal care items and physical contact with other people showing symptoms of an overpopulation of Demodex mites.
After all, the Ozidex protocol has been developed to provide a full care and prevention system for human skin and within the home as a surface spray. More information on our revolutionary flagship product PROCURiN can be found here.
How to Treat Ear Mites in Humans
In the case of Otodectes, because these mites feed on earwax, the doctor may wash your ear canal with normal saline to remove the extra wax. As these organisms are parasitic, your doctor will prescribe antiparasitic drugs to eliminate the mites and their eggs.
Other ear drops prescribed by your doctor may include the following ingredients:
- Triamcinolone acetonide
These components treat the symptoms of mites, such as itching, irritability, and abnormal ear discharge. If your ear has bacterial issues, due to the growth of mites, your doctor may prescribe antibiotic drops to treat your symptoms.
In the case of Demodex, the treatment may not be limited to your ear. As Demodex can live on most areas of your skin, even if treated, they can be transmitted again from other areas. Although many Demodex treatments are topical, a comprehensive method of controlling Demodex, may help you get rid of them once and for all.
This is what Ozidex helps you with.
OZiDEX Helps You with Your Ear Mites with PROCUTiN
The primary mission of Ozidex is to eliminate Demodex-related complications over all parts of the body. To do this, we have produced a fantastic product that eliminates Demodex by direct contact. Not only does PROCUTiN eliminate these mites on the skin, but it can also removes them in the environment and prevent them from repopulating your skin.
Although PROCUTiN is explicitly formulated to kill Demodex, our customer experience shows that this product can kill other mites as well. Since Otodectes is also a mite, you can count on PROCUTiN to kill it.
PROCUTiN is suitable for use on sensitive parts of the body, and you can also use it around your ear. However, to be sure, dilute it in the first few weeks of use, according to the product guide.
Along with the product, we offer a unique protocol that helps you control your Demodex mites. This protocol considers and modifies all aspects of life that lead to the growth of mites.
You can count on us not only in eliminating ear mites in humans but also in all complications caused by Demodex.