When the blood vessels located near the surface of the skin dilate for a brief amount of time, the volume of blood circulating in that direction increases, rapidly. The excess blood circulation generates heat, which get transferred to the superficial skin. So, when there is heavy flow of blood in the ears due to vasodilation, one may notice ears turning red and hot.
Factors that Cause Vasodilation
Instead of venting out anger, if people try to conceal it, the body reacts in the form of blushing of ears. However, venting out anger is not the solution to prevent occurrence of red hot ears. Understanding anger management techniques is an easy way to keep anger under control.
Vasodilation in ears among children and adults, is often regarded as the body's response to a humiliating or an embarrassing situation. For instance, a person criticized by his boss for poor performance in front of his colleagues will make him feel humiliated. In such cases, it is observed that the ears turn red.
Stress and anxiety can make a person experience hot feeling in the ear. In order to deal with a stressful situation, the body releases adrenaline hormone that is known to dilate blood vessels. No wonder, blushing of ears, face and even neck is observed during times of stress. Practicing relaxation techniques such as meditation and yoga is one of the best solutions to manage stress effectively. Getting nervous or becoming exhausted after a high intensity workout can also cause vasodilation in ears. So, if you see your ears becoming red hot after a tiring day at work, don't panic as it will soon go away with adequate rest.
Vasodilation in ears can also be the result of a sharp, intense allergic reaction to a metal or any other object. Some people have a habit of scratching their ears with a ballpen, key or a pencil. This will not only turn the ear red but also cause an ear infection. Instead, using high quality swabs, to clean the ear is a better option and can definitely avoid episodes of red hot ears.
Women who wish to wear earrings, need to first pierce their earlobes. Now, if proper ear-piercing instrument is not used, it can trigger an ear infection and make the ears red hot. In case, the person is allergic to the metal of which the earrings are composed, then she is likely to develop an ear infection and then suffer from red hot feeling in the ear.
Certain types of food stuffs and drinks can cause a mild allergic reaction and manifest as hot red ears. There have reports of people experiencing unusually red hot ear due to excess alcohol consumption. Some children showing red hot ears were found to be allergic to dairy products. After excluding these foodstuffs from the diet, ears did not become red and hot since then.
Hot red ear can also occur as a side of certain medicines. People taking prescription medicines for high blood pressure can also lead to vasodilation in ears. Ears and face may also blush in people taking raloxifene, that is used for managing osteoporosis.
Hormone imbalances that especially occur during pregnancy and menopause can also cause blood vessels to dilate in the ears. One may notice red ears after taking oral contraceptives, as these medications also cause hormonal changes.
Traveling in the hot sun for long periods of time can certainly cause your ears to become red and hot. Moreover, your ears may suffer from sunburn, a condition that is typically marked by formation of blisters. The delicate skin of the ear is prone to damage from excessive sun exposure. Hence, wearing a sun hat whenever needed may help to protect your ears from the intense heat.
Red Ear Syndrome (RES)
One should not confuse RES with red ears that usually occur when you get nervous or deal with a stressful situation. Experts suggest that red ear syndrome may be due to malfunctioning of the nerves that control blood circulation to the ears. Dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system also cannot be ruled out.
People with this syndrome may notice ears becoming red for no apparent reason. Also, in this case, red ears are painful to touch. RES symptoms may persist for a few minutes to a couple of hours. Patients have also reported about an unusual burning sensation around the ears. Symptoms tend to occur in situations that require jaw movement, such as chewing food during meals. Even sporadic sneezing and coughing can lead to onset of RES. Moving the neck swiftly and in some cases, simply touching the ear may trigger sudden attacks of RES.
A migraine attack may be accompanied by red ear syndrome. So, people experiencing an episode of migraine may notice their ears turning red and cause discomfort. In fact, one study suggests that red ear syndrome could be a possible symptom of migraine in children. Isolated symptoms of RES without headache may also occur in migraine sufferers.