Burning sensation in ear is common when you are angry, embarrassed or after eating hot and spicy food. This normal physiological burning sensation is result of sudden flushing and rush of blood caused due to dilatation of tiny blood vessels surrounding ear and face. The sensation lasts for a short while but during this period the outer ear becomes red and hot.It subsides on its own within few minutes.
Sometimes, burning in ears can occur as a result of an underlying organic cause, usually indicating a sign of medical problem. It may be associated with inflammation, infection, or trauma to the ear. Let us know of the conditions that are known to produce this abnormal burning in ear.
What Causes Burning Sensation In The Ear?
As mentioned earlier, burning in ears can be a physiological reaction to an emotional stimulant such as anger, grief, embarrassment etc.It can also occur due to triggers such as spicy and hot food. Basically all such events and circumstances cause vasodilatation set off by excitement of the sensory nerves innervating ear and its surrounding area.
When burning in ears is frequent occurrence with no apparent cause, it can be related to some health problem. There may be other associated symptoms along with burning sensation.
- Injury to the ear and its surrounding area can cause damage to the sensory nerves. This may give rise to burning sensation in ears.
- Peripheral neuropathy is condition that occurs when the peripheral nerves innervating the skin is damaged. It leads to numbness, tingling and burning sensation in the area of damage. The condition can occur anywhere on the body, including ear. Peripheral neuropathy is common in people suffering from diabetes, vitamin B1, B6, B12 deficiency, malignancy, exposure to toxins, trauma, metabolic abnormalities etc.
- Inflammation of trigeminal nerve produces severe burning sensation in and around the ear. It is usually one sided. Trigeminal nerve is a cranial nerve originating from the base of brain. It innervates the facial area. Any compression or trauma to the trigeminal nerve can cause trigeminal neuralgia. It is very painful condition which lasts from few seconds to minutes.
- Infection in the outer ear or in the ear canal can produce burning and pain. Most common form of infection is a boil or a furuncle.
- Viral infection such as herpes zoster on the outer area of ear can cause severe burning sensation in ear. This condition is characterized by cluster of fluid filled boils. Eruption lasts for four to five days after which the boils subside. However, in some cases burning persists for few more days or even weeks.
- Burning in ear can also occur due to allergic reaction. It can be contact allergy with hair dye, metallic ear rings, medicines etc.
- Sunburn, exposure to severe cold climate, chemical burns, etc can also produce this underlying ear problem.
Home Remedies For Burning Sensation In Ear
Burning sensation in ear has many underlying causes. Thus proper medical history and diagnosis are essential to treat the condition. If burning occurs due to physiological reasons such as after eating hot and spicy food, you need not worry as the discomfort resolves on its own within few minutes.
But certain medical conditions producing burning sensation in ear require more specific treatment which may include medication, change in lifestyle and sometimes even surgical intervention. Depending on the underlying cause, anti inflammatory medicines, antibiotics, corticosteroids and antihistaminic medicines may be necessary.
Few home remedies are also effective in alleviating the sensation.
- Aloe vera is a time tested natural remedy if the cause is sunburn or chemical burn. Aloe vera alleviates the symptom within few minutes after its application.
- If you know certain foods trigger burning in ears, the best thing is to avoid them in future.
- Same is the case with allergies. If certain metallic objects such as ear rings cause irritation and burning in ear after wearing, the best is to avoid them.
- Also avoid contact with hair dye which may be responsible for this condition.
- Control your blood sugar if you are diabetic. Take supplementary vitamins and include foods that are high in vitamin B complex.
- Anti viral medicines will be useful to alleviate burning sensation in ear caused due to herpes zoster.