Red Ear Syndrome: Chad Suffers from Rare and Weird Symptoms
Well, apparently I have inherited some weird and random syndrome from my grandmother. And I'm finally breaking the silence (lol). The other night, after Brett and I returned from WBKR Night at the Opry, I looked into the bathroom mirror and noticed that my right ear was glowing like Rudolph's nose. I mean, literally! It was bright candy apple red. It was burning hot. And it looked like it had been burned with a hair dryer. And, though it's happened before, it completely freaked me out. So, what is this bizarre affliction? How is it that my right ear can catch fire and my left ear looks perfectly normal? I did a little research into Red Ear Syndrome. And, yes! It's real.
Here. Let's first start this medical discussion with visual aids. Dr. Oz, eat your heart out. I took these lovely little selfies during my most recent episode, my most recent attack of Red Ear Syndrome. Here's my left ear . . . looking as it should. Normal. Like an ear.
Now. Here's the jacked up ear. Abnormal. Red as a baboon's butt.
Is that not just absolutely absurd? No other part of my head or body was red at the time. Just my right ear! And not only was it baboon-butt red, it was hot. Like Frank's Red Hot Sauce. I could have titled my head, thrown a spaghetti pot on my ear and boiled water for pasta. Ridiculous.
So I snapped these photos and called my mother the next day. I recalled her mentioning that my grandmother apparently suffered from this strange Red Ear Syndrome too. And, sure enough. She did. Granny would be going through her day . . . cleaning house, yelling at my grandfather, skinning fish and squirrels to eat for dinner . . . and BAM! One red ear. Great! I used to really believe that I had won the genetic lottery. Now, I'm reconsidering.
I sat down to research Red Ear Syndrome and this is what I discovered from a variety of online medical advice sites. Here's what Wise Geek claims . . .
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 (check!). In some cases, pain accompanies the redness, with some sufferers reporting that the ears also become tender to the touch (check! Great. I'm a freak). 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. (Oh great! Looks like we're gonna need Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman to crack this medical mystery).
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 (I'm doomed), drinking (Come on! I sip girly drinks. How dangerous they can be?), coughing (I eat granola/bird seed for breakfast and routinely get choked), sneezing (I have allergies and can probably thank Granny for those too), or simply turning the neck rapidly in a single direction (I am rather dramatic and can pull off a double-take hilariously). There are cases in which sufferers would experience an outbreak of redness and discomfort after touching the earlobe (I don't normally walk around with my finger in my ear. That would be odd).
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.
Ah hah!! We may be onto something here. Finally! The one real medical issue I have inherited from my family is the lovely migraine. In fact, just about every branch on my immediate family tree suffers terribly from them. Is there a direct correlation between by big red right ear and my noggin'? I suppose it's possible. But until we find out for sure, I am just gonna have to walk around occasionally looking like a weirdo.
Just like Grandma.