Red ear syndrome is a condition in which one or both ears become extremely red and hot to the touch, with the appearance of the redness occurring within seconds. In some cases, pain accompanies the redness, with some sufferers reporting that the ears also become tender to the touch. A number of triggers that lead to an outbreak of red ear syndrome have been identified. Unfortunately, there is not a solitary course of treatment that can correct the problem.
Most of the triggers of red ear syndrome have to do with some sort of movement of the head. People have experienced outbreaks while chewing food, drinking, coughing, sneezing, or simply turning the neck rapidly in a single direction. There are cases in which sufferers would experience an outbreak of redness and discomfort after touching the earlobe.
Other physical conditions can sometimes trigger an episode of red ear syndrome. For example, migraine sufferers may find that the ears turn red and are somewhat tender to the touch during the course of the head pain. Various forms of joint dysfunction also seem to trigger the reaction in some people. There is even some evidence that prolonged periods of stress or anxiety can lead to the development of this health issue.
It is important to note that red ear syndrome is very different from the rush of blood to the face and ears that occurs when an individual is embarrassed. In most of these cases, the redness fades once the episode of embarrassment is resolved. In contrast, red ear syndrome may linger for some time before the discoloration and tenderness begin to subside.
When it comes to red ear syndrome treatment, a common approach is to identify the underlying trigger and attempt to resolve that issue. For example, if the ears suddenly become red due to a migraine headache, taking medication to bring the head pain under control will often also cause the ear discoloration to fade. If some type of joint problem is the underlying cause, taking steps to correct the joint issue will minimize the frequency and severity of the outbreaks of the syndrome.
For many sufferers who experience episodes of red ear syndrome from simple actions like chewing or drinking, the focus is often not on treating the condition, but learning to manage it as much as possible. Some sufferers cope with the red ears by wearing their hair long enough to cover most of the ears. Others may choose to try using makeup to hide the redness, or develop the habit of wearing headgear that partially hides the ears. Others simply accept the condition and try to prevent the sudden outbreak from upsetting their daily routine, or causing them to curtail social activities.