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Why Does One Of My Ears Suddenly Feel Hot?

March 13, 2019

Beyond thinking about how a new pair of earrings looks or finding the perfect pair of earbuds for exercise, we don’t give our ears much thought. In part, this may be because they don’t demand much attention. They’re pretty much self-sufficient, functioning all by themselves—they’re even self-cleaning. But that’s just the beginning.

Understanding Your Ears

There are three parts of the ear: the inner, middle and outer ear, which is the only part you can see. Did you know that your ears also have more than 20,000 hair cells that help to amplify sound? Or that they’re working nonstop, 24/7? Plus, they’re essential for more than just listening; they help with balance and taste.

But What Causes The Burning Sensation?

When one of your ears starts feeling warm, it can be both confusing and concerning. Is there something wrong? Is this common? Actually, hot ears—which can be classified as ears that are warm to the touch, reddish in color or have a burning sensation—are commonplace.

While there are some more serious conditions that may be the cause of your burning ear, like red ear syndrome (RES) or erthermalgia, the more likely culprit is one of these everyday factors:

  • Emotions: Not unlike blushing, ear hotness is often an involuntary bodily reaction that’s triggered by stress or emotions like anger, embarrassment or anxiety. Of course, a red, burning ear doesn’t help with those stressful feelings.
  • Temperature: This may seem like an obvious one, but when your body is adjusting to a change in temperature—either hot or cold—it is adjusting blood flow, which can make one or both of your ears red and hot.
  • Hormonal changes: As if menopause, or other hormonal changes, weren’t already challenging enough, we’ll add hot ears to the list of possible symptoms.
  • Infection: Chances are if you had an ear infection, you would know it. That’s because in addition to a hot or warm ear, you’d notice other symptoms, like pain, drainage, diminished hearing, headache and/or fever.

When you’re not feeling so hot.

Thankfully, a hot ear, or a burning sensation in one of your ears, is just a temporary (albeit weird and uncomfortable) feeling. However, in the event that it persists, or it’s accompanied by other symptoms, let the experts of Gwinnett Medical Group help. With convenient primary care locations, specialty ENT services and the latest treatment options, your ears are sure to feel—and hear—their best.

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