Cats are particularly prone to having ear mites. They experience discomfort and severe itching in their canals when ear mites are present. You may cure the disease before it causes consequences like infections or damaged eardrums by identifying the signs of cat ear mites. But it is highly uncommon for a cat’s ear mites to go inside a human ear.
While humans cannot catch ear mites, we can get chiggers, which are ear mites’ close relatives. Usually, ear mites spread from animal to animal rather than significantly from human to human. However, you should know a few things about cat ear mites. So, stay tuned to learn all about them.
What are Cat Ear Mites?
Otodectic mites and ear canker mites are other names for these bothersome parasites. The ear canals of cats are home to ear mites, which eat ear wax and epidermal cells to survive, grow, and reproduce. They are external parasites that dwell there and feed there. Occasionally, the mites leave the ear and go to the adjacent head and trunk.
Ear wax resembling coffee grounds is frequently a symptom in afflicted cats. The mites, their waste, mite eggs, blood, and wax are all included in the dark detritus. Due to their tiny size, they are almost invisible to human sight. The debris is examined under a microscope to detect the mites moving through it, which serves as the diagnosis.
Can Humans Get Ear Mites?
Ear mites may live on people but do so at the back. Even though it’s uncommon, humans might get ear mites. When an ear mite is hunting for a host because it needs one to survive, it may occasionally affect individuals. Chiggers are harmless adult mites’ larval stage that consumes human skin by boring a small hole in it and sticking their mouthparts inside.
A chemical that the larvae release eats through the skin. The skin develops red areas that resemble lumps, and there is severe itching. In a few days, this typically goes away on its own. The irritation is relieved until the areas heal with calamine lotion or cortisone cream. The Amazon Basics Medicated Calamine Anti-Itch Lotion can benefit in relieving irritations.
Human ear mites are most frequently caused by cats that have ear mites as pets. Sharing a bed or furniture that your cat often uses increases your risk of contracting ear mites if your cat has them. In light of this, you should frequently examine your pets for parasites and treat them if necessary.
Treating Ear Mites in Humans
An otolaryngologist may be recommended by your physician, also known as an ear, nose, and throat specialist. To visually confirm the presence of ear mites, the doctor will swab your ear and examine it using an otoscope. This instrument is utilized to look deep down the ear canal. These tests can determine whether ear mites are present or not, as well as check for any ear abnormalities.
The doctor will first use saline flushing to remove any extra ear wax before giving you ear drops to aid with ear irritation and itching. They will also give you antiparasitic ear drops to eliminate the mites and their eggs. Acetic acid can prevent germs and fungus from growing in the ear. Some people have seen success by using it.
Your ear canal may become inflamed as a result of this illness. Moreover, a severe reaction to it may result in subsequent ear infections. A medical course of antibiotics will be administered to you to treat allergy symptoms and prevent a recurrence. The sooner you consult a physician, the sooner they can give the proper treatment to kill the ear mites and their eggs.
Why Do Ear Mites Occur in Humans?
The most frequent source of infection for ear mites in humans is passing from a household pet. Since ear mites require a host to survive, they frequently move from one person or animal to another. However, close contact with an ill pet increases the risk of infection.
This close contact may happen if you sleep on the same bed as your pet or let them on the furniture. If your cat has ear mites, they might go to your bedding and furnishings before attaching to you, infesting your ear canal.
What’s more, ear mites can affect people without having their pets. You might become infected if you come close to a person or animal with ear mites. Sitting on an ear-mite-infested couch is possible when you go to someone’s house. Even worse, interacting with an infected animal may cause you to acquire ear mites.
Ensure to wash and disinfect any bedding or anything your cat has touched. Use hot water to clean everything. Avoid sharing a bed with your cat or sitting on any furniture with it until the ear mites are gone.
Symptoms of Ear Mites in Humans and Cats
You and your cat will react in different ways to an ear mite infection, both behaviorally and physically. Below is a table comparing the different symptoms you and your cat might show resulting from the same issues with ear mites.
Corresponding Human Symptoms
Constant itching at the head, neck, and ears
Extreme itching in the canal
Excessive head shaking
Reduced ear flap
Increased pressure in the ear
A substance that seems to be dirt or coffee grounds in the ears
Presence of brown or black ear wax
Bruises and cuts near the ears from the scratching
Inflammation and redness in the ear
Despite being rare, the human transmission of cat ear mites is still possible. So, try avoiding close contact with your cat while infected. Your doctor can also recommend an antibiotic to prevent any potential secondary infections brought on by ear mites.
However, know the possible symptoms if your cat does indeed have ear mites. You and other family members can be safeguarded if you learn to spot the early indications of an animal’s ear mite illness.