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Getting hot warm sensation in ear. Suffering from panic and anxiety attacks. What could be the problem?

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ENT Specialist
Practicing since : 1991
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i am 53 and for the past month i have been having some hot warm sensations in my left ear ...i am a nurse and another nurse looked there is no noticable infection or wax build up comes and goes . I did have a bad upper res infection about a month ago but all is well. I do have some slight drainage that has a taste or smell of infection but it doesnt go away im thinking chronic siusitus on that . I also have had my neck feel out on the same side left have had it adjusted twice was wondering if the warm is possibly from the neck and muscle. I suffer from panic and anxiety attacks so i worry its possibly annurysum ,stroke or a vascular problem ...i just need to get that out of my head.....haha literally Thanks for an input
Posted Fri, 9 Nov 2012 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Answered by Dr. Sumit Bhatti 1 hour later

Thank you for your query.

1. This is not a serious problem. However, if the warm sensation spreads further or if the discomfort increases, it will be better to have your left ear examined for any signs of infection following the URTI (Upper Respiratory Tract Infection). To be on the safe side, try and get someone to check the skin behind your ear for any lump or discoloration.

2. To rule out sinusitis, get a plain CT PNS (Para nasal Sinuses) on a multi-slice CT Scan machine with 1 mm coronal, axial and sagittal cuts done. An MRI brain including the temporal bones and cervical spine, if normal should allay any fears of a major cause.

3. I am assuming that you do not have any middle ear infection. Sometimes it is just a furuncle or boil in the skin. If there are clear vesicles in the rash, you must visit an ENT Specialist to rule out Herpes Zoster. Get a PTA (Pure Tone Audiogram) and an Tympanogram (Impedance Audiometry) done to investigate the middle ear.

4. If your ears are normal, the hot warm sensation is most likely to be a referred pain, either Trigeminal or Cervical (Greater Auricular and Lesser Occipital nerves) due to spasm of the neck muscles. Painkillers foe neuralgias are different from routine musculo-skeletal pain killers.

5. These sensations my also be peri-menopausal symptoms.

Hope I have answered your query. If you have any follow up queries I will be available to answer them.

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