Do your ears always get cold outside even in 75 degree weather, especially if you’re hiking, jogging or even walking?

For some people, wearing a cap of some sort to keep the ears warm is necessary, even in what would be considered warm weather.

Sometimes a single wool band is not enough to keep their ears warm if it’s 45 degrees, and a second band must be used on top of the first.

This is an uncommon problem—ears “freezing” when the rest of the body is quite comfortable in light clothes.

“The outer ear (auricle/pinna) is made up of cartilage, lacking muscles or fat for insulation as well as blood vessels or nerves for temperature regulation,” says Jenepher Piper, a family practice nurse practitioner for Maryland Family Care for 25+ years and a former nurse with Home Care Nurse for Johns Hopkins Home Care.

“The outer ear also has a large surface area-to-volume ratio, maximizing heat loss. Therefore, it is naturally cooler than the core body temperature.

“When the ambient temperature exceeds the body temperature, the ears will stop giving off heat and warm up.”

In the meantime, if your ears get really cold easily when running, jogging, hiking or otherwise being out in fairly warm weather, double up on warming headbands if necessary – even if nobody else has one on and wonder why YOU do!

Nurse Piper
Patients suffering from conditions such as coronary artery disease, obesity and diabetes turn to Nurse Practitioner Piper to help them best manage their overall health.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.  



Top image: ©Lorra Garrick