It can be a bit discomfiting, to say the least, when you experience an ear burning sensation. This feeling of burning in or around your ears can make it feel tender, inflamed, and swollen. In fact, if you touch your ears they may be warm to the touch.
In many cases this feeling is due to an infection, because bacteria or viruses have entered your body. The redness, swelling, and warmth are caused by the response of your immune system. There’s a Eustachian tube that connects your ear to your throat and permits the drainage of fluid from your middle ear. But a problem can occur when this tube is blocked with fluid. The fluid buildup can cause the bacterial or viral infection, which then leads to the pain and swelling.
Other possible causes includes “swimmer’s ears” (otitis externa), which results from water getting into the outer ear canal. Allergies to earrings and skin conditions like eczema can also produce the symptoms of swimmer’s ears.
In some cases you can just take antibiotics to take care of the infection. Once the infection is taken care of, the sensation of ear burning goes away as well. In fact, in some cases these infections are resolved on their own as the human immune system does its job.
However, there are cases when the cause of the sensation is much more serious. The problem may be caused by anaphylaxis, which is an allergic reaction that can be life-threatening. The problem may also be due to a ruptured eardrum or an infection of the bones behind the ear.
When the sensation of ear burning is also accompanied by any of the following symptoms, you should seek immediate medical care. That means calling 911 as the issue needs the attention of a medical professional ASAP. These additional symptoms include:
In fact, if the ear burning sensation is accompanied by any other symptom that causes you some type of concern, it’s better to play it safe and to seek medical care immediately.
The ENT doctor can then diagnose the underlying medical condition that’s causing the problem. The feeling of having your ears burning may be uncomfortable, but the underlying condition that caused that sensation may be much more serious and detrimental for your health.
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