What causes an ear to feel hot?

Answer

Primary care physician assistant Rod Moser explains that hot ears may simply indicate a variation of ear blushing in which warm, red blood shunts to the outer ears and gives them a red appearance. He states that some people may experience pain and discomfort but usually are unharmed.

Better Medicine explains that a burning sensation in or around the ears may indicate an infection, particularly when the ears also feel swollen, inflamed and tender. The site attributes the burning sensation to otitis media with effusion in which the Eustachian tube of the middle ear becomes blocked with fluid and infected.

Otitis externa, or swimmer's ear, may also cause a burning sensation in the ears, says Better Medicine. This condition often comes from an infection of the bone at the base of the skull, a foreign object lodged in the ear, irritation from itching or cleaning the ear, allergies to earrings or skin conditions, such as eczema.

Dr. Modena Wilson and Dr. Alain Joffe further explain that burns, infections and rashes cause the ears to feel hot. They state that children's ears often get hot, but this does not mean anything other than a temporary chemical signal from the body telling the ear capillaries to dilate, causing an ear blush.

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