extreme outer ear pain

Posted by ellienewfan @ellienewfan, Feb 4, 2013

Please….someone help me.

I’ve visited my allergist, an ear-nose-throat specialist and my own internist.
None of them have ever heard of my problem and don’t know how to help me.

Started approx 20 yrs ago, Every couple of months I would get an awful pain on one of my ears if I had been laying on it during the night. It would happen to either ear, whichever one I laid on.

To describe the pain. It is so intense that it wakes me. Pain is NOT inside the ear but around the edges of the entrance of it. It is so painful, I can’t touch it. It will be throbbing. It also hurts tremendously behind, towards the bottom back of the ear. Can’t touch that either. The only thing that will make it go away is when I then get up and stand and within approx 30 min it is gone. I even tested it by massaging behind the ear (once I could bear to touch it) and it seemed to make pain go away faster.

The last approx 3 years, I have no longer been able to even lay on either ear when in bed because now the pain will come every time. I have learned to sleep on my back. Sometimes I would still move onto my side during night, and wake up with pain.

For last 6 months, I’ve been having pressure and achy feeling around one of the ears, even while laying on my back. Then I started getting the pain even while sleeping on my back.

I am very much afraid that the day will come when I will no longer be able to lay down in my bed to go to sleep.

I am desperate to get to the bottom of this and perhaps for first time in 20 years be able to comfortably lay on my side in bed.

My ENT doctor said my ears are healthy …. i have no hearing loss.

This ear pain, however, is starting to affect my daily living, since I don’t seem to be able to get the restful sleep I need.

I will be forever grateful if someone could pinpoint this. thanks.

I've found a treatment that works! I have been experiencing this same kind of pain on my outer left ear when sleeping for several years. I can't seem to sleep on my back and have a hip replacement on my right side so that's not an option either. About a year ago a dermatologist diagnosed it as chondrodermatitis nodularis helicis — a benign, albeit painful, nodule of the ear. He said there was no cure and suggested I get a pillow with a hole. I also ordered the one from the U.K. and like others found it hard and useless. To be able to sleep I've had to use a travel pillow for part of the night–not the most comfortable option.

Then recently I found a website providing home remedies (Sorry won't let me post the link.) One of the treatments they suggested was Aloe Vera. So for the last week, I've been using 100% Aloe Vera gel , applying it to my ear just before I go to bed. It's been working like a charm. I no longer need to use the travel pillow and my ear now feels smooth rather than dry and scaly as it did previously. No night pain at all. Such a relief!

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Hi Ellie…..I was diagnosed with your exact ear problem by my Dermatologist. I also found the pillows with a hole in the middle, too hard and uncomfortable. I actually had this painful outer ear several years before getting the nodule, which has made it worse. I have used some steriod cream on the nodule when it gets really sore & extremely painful. When that gets better, I have used many things from Vaseline to recently avocado oil. I definitely will now get some aloe Vera gel. Can you say what brand yours is, that might be purchased anywhere? I have always used a VERY soft pillow and am using it again, and try to punch a hole for my ear, that relives some of the pressure and do this a few times during the night. I hope the aloe Vera gel works for me! Thank you for your posting.

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I've also used a very soft pillow and it certainly does help somewhat. I'm in Canada and the gel I bought is President's Choice 98% pure Aloe Vera Gel purchased at Superstore. I don't think it's the brand that matters so much as finding as pure a formulation as you can. A lot of Aloe Vera gels I've seen are mixed up with other ingredients. They might still work, but I have only tried this one. But I imagine the juice from the leaves of an Aloe Vera plant would work as well. Do hope this helps you and others with the same nasty ear problem. Best of luck!

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I had extreme outer ear pain a couple of years ago. My family doctor said it is boxer's ear also known as cauliflower ear. It is caused by trauma. In my case the trauma was just laying on my ear. I can only lay on my right side. My doctor told me to make a pocket (indentation) in my pillow with my fist when I lie down for my ear to rest over. It relieves the pressure and the pain goes away. I sometimes slip up and forget the pocket or move my head where it is out of it and wind up hurting again.

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You might also want to try a memory foam travel pillow. Although not as comfortable as making a pocket in a regular soft pillow, which I've also done, you can't slip up. And you don't need to use the travel pillow all night, just when your ear starts hurting again. I bought mine in a drugstore. Along with applying Aloe Vera gel, this travel pillow has made it possible for me to get a full night's sleep despite my ear condition.

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@gls58

I had the pain for over 2 years, and I resorted to sleeping with my hand under my cheek to keep pressure off my ears. It only helped a little and caused me to wake over and over every night. I come back and do a search every so often to see if there are any stories of relief, and I just can’t remember where I saw the vitamin / calcium solution. I’ll keep looking, because it’s made such a difference in my life. I’d forgotten how it felt to actually sleep. I suffer from chronic neck and back pain too, and sleeping on my side is the only option I have, so this was a huge issue. This may not help all others suffering with this, but it’s so easy to try. Give it a little time. Hope it helps.

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Holy cow, both my husband and I have the same thing!

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@nibor63

I have the same and have had for a year and a half. Had lots of tests. NO answers. Taking Meloxicam. Only thing that has helped.

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@nibor63 Meloxicam maybe yoir answer The Dr gave me this for my osteoarthritis and yes it does work My ears are fine except for tinnitus.

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Had systemic pain, all over, prior to meloxicam. Right foot, back, ears, etc. Couldn't function prior to Meloxicam.

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I have had this several times as well; yesterday was the worst, very severe. But it worsened through the day, it didn’t go away. I didn’t sleep well, and nothing topical/natural helped. I finally took a fioricet, which seemed to blunt it a bit but it still isn’t gone (since yesterday morning) and I am now hurting head to toe.

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I have also awaken because of excruciating pain around my outer ear. I read in a magazine where someone had written about having excruciating pain around the ear lobe whenever she slept on her ear. This interested me, as I had the same problem. She was advised by the doctor answering the post. He stated that the condition is known as trigeminal neuralgia. I intend to look up information on this condition and maybe oneday I will be able to get a good night sleep instead of sleeping on my hands.

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@angeloneday

I have also awaken because of excruciating pain around my outer ear. I read in a magazine where someone had written about having excruciating pain around the ear lobe whenever she slept on her ear. This interested me, as I had the same problem. She was advised by the doctor answering the post. He stated that the condition is known as trigeminal neuralgia. I intend to look up information on this condition and maybe oneday I will be able to get a good night sleep instead of sleeping on my hands.

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Not Trigeminal Neuralgia.

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I have had this same problem for many years. It is not relapsing polychondritis. It is not an autoimmune inner ear disease. The pain is triggered when I lie down on my side, with my ear touching a very soft pillow. Pillow softness does not prevent the outer ear cartilage pain. I know many people who can lie with their head against a pillow and sleep without pain. I used to be one of them. Many of us 'oddballs', exist and suffer from this"mystery diagnosis". I keep waiting for our superhero to appear and remove this pain forever.

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