How to deal with ear burning

Updated on February 16, 2022

Many people suffer from a burning sensation to the ears. This is often accompanied by the ears feeling hot, turning red and being painful to touch. It can affect one or both of the ears and is often a symptom of a wider problem. Below, we explore the different types of ear burning. 

Ear burning as a symptom of allergic reaction

One potential cause for ear burning could be an allergic reaction or contact dermatitis. This condition could be brought upon by an allergy to plants, insect bites, personal care products, topical creams or jewellery. Mild allergic reactions will usually resolve themselves, but if it seems more severe you’ll need to see a doctor.

Ear burning as a symptom of red ear syndrome

Another possible cause is red ear syndrome. This is a condition that scientists are still attempting to understand but it causes one ear to redden and feel as though it’s burning. It can happen to anyone at any age and can be triggered by physical touch, chewing, temperature and physical exertion.

Ear burning as a symptom of skin infection

A skin infection could also be causing ear burning. A cut or abrasion around the ear can cause the skin nearby to become extremely sensitive and could lead to the outer ear becoming infected. Accompanying symptoms would include a fever and swelling.  

Ear burning as a symptom of ear infection

An ear infection is also a common cause. In this situation you’ll have obvious accompanying symptoms such as discharge from the ear, muffled sounds and a loss of appetite. 


Your doctor will explore any accompanying symptoms while also conducting a quick test and inspection of your ear to establish the issue. Usually, if it is any of the conditions above, it should be relatively straightforward for your doctor to diagnose the issue. While you can often guess what the issue might be online, it’s best to get confirmation from a medical professional. 


Treatment will again depend on the type of condition you’re suffering from. If it’s an infection you’ll either be prescribed antibiotics or your doctor will leave it to clear up on its own. However, a condition like red ear syndrome can be more difficult to treat: possible options include botox injections or cooling of the skin. Ultimately, most of these conditions should alleviate themselves with a little care and rest. 

If you’re suffering from ear burning or a hearing disorder, then it’s worth getting a diagnosis and treatment. A five-minute online hearing test can be the first step on your journey to improving your quality of life. 


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