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Q.

my ears get red suddenly, is that a blood pressure issue?

I work 3rd shift and it seems to happen in the early morning....but happens more often now at other times.

Related Topics: Ears, Blood Pressure
 

Answers From Experts & Organizations (1)

Primary Care
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A.

No, "red hot ears" is not usually a problem with your blood pressure, but it is "vascular". In most cases, this unusual phenomenon is just a variation of blushing -- warm, red blood is shunted to your outer ears, giving them that red appearance. Unlike other blushing, this is not necessarily caused by embarrassment or other triggers; it just happens. For some people, the ears can uncomfortably hot or even painful. To the very least, it can be embarrassing.

There is very little that you can do for this, but since you mentioned blood pressure, the use of a class of drugs called beta-blockers has been used for red, hot ears. These are use for high-blood pressure, preventing migraines, and other cardiac problems. Sometimes it helps; sometimes it doesn't. It would be up to you to convince your doctor to prescribe them for this purpose.

Red, hot ears are harmless, but if you consider the problem severe, beta-blockers may be worth a try.

There are many discussions about red, hot ears on WebMD's Ear, Nose, and Throat Community Board.

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A.

If the ear is red and hot only along the top two thirds or so, where the cartilage is located and the tip of the ear or the ear lobe is still close to normal in color, the problem could be Relapsing Polychondritis. This is a very rare autoimmune disease that attacks the cartilage in the body and is not limited to the ear. It can attack the trachea, heart valves, eyes, joints and connective tissue.

This can be a very dangerous disease that is very difficult to diagnose, as only about 3 or so people out of every 1 million ever develop the disease. Mayo Clinic has a good, easy to understand write up about it. If you suspect that this may be your problem, after reading the Mayo and/or other articles, you would do well to contact a Rheumatologist and mention it to him/her. Be sure to bring up the name "Relapsing Polychondritis", as most doctors have never seen this disease. It took me ten years to get diagnosed.

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A.
I have the same issue and I see it was suggested to try beta blockers here. Given that it does not seem to be an issue to be concerned about, is it worth to run the risk of beta blocker's side effects to deal with this?

Thanks for your answer.   

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