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Red and Hot Ears

red hot ears in Wisconsin
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Understanding the Cause of Red and Hot Ears

Do Your Ears Get Red and Hot? Next Level Hearing Care Explains Why

Have you ever had a moment when your ears randomly start feeling like they’re burning up? Many patients have visited Next Level Hearing Care centers in VA, DE, MS, and NC wondering why their ears get red and hot. It can be a strange sensation. For most, it’s a minor concern and comes with logical explanations, but for some, it can be an underlying symptom of a more significant health issue. As an organization committed to ear health, we’ll dive into the world of ear redness and explore its various causes to help you understand a little more about why this happens, what it means, and what you can do about it. 

The Most Common Reason for Red and Hot Ears

Red and hot ears are often an indication of increased blood flow to the ear area. This can be a natural physiological response like blushing. When you feel embarrassed, your body responds by increasing blood flow to the cheeks and ears, causing them to become red and sometimes hot. This reaction is called vasodilation. Vasodilation is primarily harmless and does not require medical attention from an ear doctor. Feelings of anxiety, frustration, and anger can incite the same response. The redness and burning subsides as your emotions do.

Ears Are Susceptible to Sunburn

Did you know your ears are one of the most sensitive areas of your skin? If you’re not wearing a hat with a brim, they’re constantly exposed and are often neglected while applying sunscreen, making them vulnerable to sunburns. If you’ve spent a day in the sun or even just a fair amount of time outside, your red and hot ears are likely the result of a sunburn. Aloe vera gel can help moisturize the skin, cool the burn, and prevent peeling as the burn heals. Always pay special attention to your ears when spending time in the sun.

Hormonal Issues Cause Swings in Body Temperature

Hormonal fluctuations and imbalances can result in vasomotor symptoms like hot flashes and redness of ears. This symptom is common for women during menopause and can be exacerbated by other factors. If you experience hot flashes and ear redness together, this could likely be a reason, but talking to your healthcare provider about the underlying cause is a good idea.

The Different Effects of Ear Infections 

Ear infections caused by head colds and the flu primarily come with discomfort and even conductive hearing loss from fluid buildup. On the other hand, mild skin infections in the ear canal or earlobes like eczema, psoriasis, and other bacterial or fungal infections can lead to red and hot ears. If you are experiencing unusual ear discharge, swelling, pain, or a fever, it’s time to seek medical help.

Chronic Skin Disorders 

Seborrheic dermatitis is a chronic skin disorder affecting areas with more significant sebum production. Sebum is a naturally produced oily substance that lubricates the skin and hair to protect it from wind, rain, heat, and pollution. It’s found in areas like the scalp, face, and ears. An overabundance of sebum production leads to seborrheic dermatitis, resulting in redness, flaking, and itching, impacting the ear’s skin. A dermatologist can accurately diagnose and help you manage this condition effectively.

Red Ear Syndrome and Its Effect on Your Hearing

Another condition, red ear syndrome (RES), is characterized by recurring episodes of redness, warmth or burning, and swelling of one or both ears. RES can be a primary disease or secondary to other underlying conditions. It is considered a rare disorder. RES can also be associated with other symptoms like migraines or cluster headaches, which suggests a common neurological link. This syndrome can affect hearing through altered sensory perceptions or even hearing loss in severe cases. It is essential to detect and appropriately manage this condition through a careful evaluation of symptoms and underlying conditions.

How to Avoid Red and Hot Ears

The body’s response to your emotions, such as embarrassment or anger, is natural and shouldn’t be a concerning cause for red ears. Wearing sunscreen and a brimmed hat in the sun will protect your ears from sunburn. Other skin disorders and chronic conditions that cause red and hot ears could have different triggers, including dietary allergies, skin care products, alcohol, and other illnesses. Working with your healthcare provider to learn more about your symptoms and causes is essential to finding the proper care plan for your situation.

Seek Care for Consistent Red or Hot Ears

If your ears consistently get red and hot, unrelated to swings in your emotions, it’s time to get a professional opinion from a medical professional or ear doctor like the team at Next Level Hearing Care in VA, DE, MS, and NC. A natural physiological response to emotions like embarrassment or excitement isn’t concerning. However, if ear redness persists and is accompanied by other symptoms like swelling, pain, or discharge, it’s a sign of something else. Contact one of our hearing care centers near you to schedule an appointment to discuss hearing loss or ear problems.

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