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.

Just found this page. I'm writing here now because my wife (72), an OB/GYN physician, would not do so. The typical "never gets sick" kind of stubborn. She told me that her right ear lobe was hurting with point tenderness that was intermittent sharp pain sensitive to touch. The pain was at the acupuncture point for the 'jaw,' yesterday. Then 24 hours later the pain moved 180 degrees to the top part of the exterior ear in the 'allergy' acupuncture point area. It hurt on a scale of one to ten, about a five, really sensitive to touch with intermittent sharp pain and has slowly decreased but still slightly sensitive to touch. She is not aware of any mechanical stress during sleep or otherwise that would have caused these symptoms. She rarely if ever complains of any pain, and said she even considered having one of the nurses in the clinic inject the area with anesthetic because it bothered her so much during the day seeing patients and keeping up with all the medical record notes. I noted some redness behind the ear on her head, but that may be due to her recently rubbing the area to see if there was any tender spots, which there was, which is why she asked me to look and see. I'm a big vitamin supplement and homeopathic guy myself, so I'll make sure she gets that Ca and D3 before bed tonight. I also put some Zeel on the area behind her ear. It it still hurts in a day or two, I'll suggest she get an Auriculectomy to get rid of the symptoms (eliminate the symptoms, eliminate the underlying problem – sarcasm).

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Hello, I have had the same problem at least 15 years, maybe more. It's an awful, horrible, horrific pain. The oddest spot, you couldn't imagine.. right on the cartiledge (sp)…I could not make any connection as to why a pain in that area. Went to ENT doctor and she told me to use a spray gel in my nostrils. That did nothing.. This pain felt like gout on my ear. The nasal spray did nothing. Then I made an appointment with my Primary….his nurse, a PA saw me first, and when I told her "I'm going to tell you something you won't believe, much less find a cure"…as soon as I said, "Pain in curve of my ear…" she interrupted me and said, "I get the same thing"….then she said, "My mother gets, it too… it's horrible" . Here's the good news. She said she found out about a pillow.. It's called "Pillow With a Hole". It's made in England, cost about $66. Google it, and you can see a video about this pillow….with a hole. I purchased mine from Amazon. When the pillow arrived last week (it comes from England)….I couldn't believe how well I slept with my ear in that hole. The pillow was comfortable.not hard, and it comes with instructions if you feel it's too hard, open the zipper and remove some of the stuffing. Enclosed with the pillow was some paperwork and a typewritten note from the Managing Director of P.W.A.H. Here is his email tim@pwah.co.uk. I am thrilled to send this information to you.. I wish I could find a way to make it go viral on this web site.. So far, I have been writing to those who post this awful pain. One quick thing. you may be wondering why I never saw anyone about it, since I had it all these years.. I didn't have this every day.. I had it once in a while..Plus….it only happened when I lay down.. rarely when I was upright. This pillow will help your wife… I can't say enough about it.

Liked by 46momof5

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@celesteh77

Hello, I have had the same problem at least 15 years, maybe more. It's an awful, horrible, horrific pain. The oddest spot, you couldn't imagine.. right on the cartiledge (sp)…I could not make any connection as to why a pain in that area. Went to ENT doctor and she told me to use a spray gel in my nostrils. That did nothing.. This pain felt like gout on my ear. The nasal spray did nothing. Then I made an appointment with my Primary….his nurse, a PA saw me first, and when I told her "I'm going to tell you something you won't believe, much less find a cure"…as soon as I said, "Pain in curve of my ear…" she interrupted me and said, "I get the same thing"….then she said, "My mother gets, it too… it's horrible" . Here's the good news. She said she found out about a pillow.. It's called "Pillow With a Hole". It's made in England, cost about $66. Google it, and you can see a video about this pillow….with a hole. I purchased mine from Amazon. When the pillow arrived last week (it comes from England)….I couldn't believe how well I slept with my ear in that hole. The pillow was comfortable.not hard, and it comes with instructions if you feel it's too hard, open the zipper and remove some of the stuffing. Enclosed with the pillow was some paperwork and a typewritten note from the Managing Director of P.W.A.H. Here is his email tim@pwah.co.uk. I am thrilled to send this information to you.. I wish I could find a way to make it go viral on this web site.. So far, I have been writing to those who post this awful pain. One quick thing. you may be wondering why I never saw anyone about it, since I had it all these years.. I didn't have this every day.. I had it once in a while..Plus….it only happened when I lay down.. rarely when I was upright. This pillow will help your wife… I can't say enough about it.

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celesteh77, thank you for your reply. I've done more research on my wife's problem since I first posted last night. I'm not a doctor. When I got back from Vietnam I intended to use my GI Bill to study Biomedical Engineering. The University messed up my registration and only scheduled me for the engineering course and not the medical course. I'd have to start the medical course the next year. That was enough to make me drop the original idea. Glad I did, because I would not have liked to put up with what my wife has to put up with daily patient-wise. Everybody wants drugs for something because they saw it on TV, but they probably didn't watch it long enough to see the lawyers advertising their services for those who took the advertised drugs with their side effects. Anyway, as life progressed I earned a BSME and JD, and was a member of the Bar from 1989 to my retirement October 22, 2018. And after being around my wife for 42 years, listening to countless medical classes on her CDs as we traveled (and getting dined by drug reps in fancy restaurants in the past), I think I could almost do her job. She loves delivering babies. No thanks!

So, after posting last night I read almost all of the posts in this area of concern with ear pain. Along engineering thinking protocol as it pertains to the human body machine, I note that one thing most, if not all, of those posting here, all probably have the same physical structure and layout of the nervous system. That is, "the greater auricular nerve is a cutaneous branch of the cervical plexus (connected to nerves coming out of vertebrae C2 & C3) that innervates the skin of the auricle as well as skin over the parotid gland and mastoid process. The greater auricular nerve also supplies branches that innervate the deep layer of the parotid fascia."

My wife seldom sleeps facing toward me (probably because of my snoring and/or bad breath), but sleeps mainly on her left side, or left ear. She is all over the place with the pillow, part of the night on it, other parts curled up off of it. So, the orientation of her cervical spinal column changes throughout the night, and as her muscles relax there is more of a chance her vertebra may 'pinch' on the nerve coming out of those two vertebrae (C2 & C3), which could cause the excitation of the nerve endings in her ear. It would be interesting to see if the same pain ever originates in the left ear instead of the right, indicating to me that C2 and C3 need an adjustment to relieve any 'pinching.'

There are several posts of individuals who got pillows recommended by their chiropractors. That tells me that they are probably using a pillow that keeps the alignment of the cervical vertebra in a normal, unstressed, orientation during the night. Plus, they have most likely had a cervical adjustment by their chiropractor too. I doubt that vitamins D3 and Ca would have any direct affect on this problem, but rather think that it is a 'mechanical' orientation problem in most if not all who are experiencing this ear pain.

This morning her ear pain is gone. If it comes back, I will give her a cervical adjustment right away to see if that eliminates the pain. (I learned how to do chiropractor adjustments from the neck to L5/S1 after having had adjustments over the years since I was a little kid, and from my volunteering to be the guinea pig for adjustments for my wife's Osteopathic training at OUCOM back in the 80's. My wife is better at diagnosing vertebrae out of place than I, but doesn't adjust me as well as my favorite chiropractor.). There is nothing like the 'freedom' of movement and well-being after a good neck adjustment by a knowledgeable and competent chiropractor, or DO who does manipulations.

This condition reminds me of when my little fingers would be numb after sleeping all night long. Everyone said, "Oh, you have carpal tunnel syndrome." That did not make any logical sense to me at all. Since I stopped exercising long ago, my muscles have become lax. When I was sleeping at night on my sides, my arms would hang down over my chest, 'pinching' the nerve that goes down my arm through the arm pit. After I figured that out, what I did was get a stout pillow to rest my arm over at night instead of letting it hang down over my chest. That alleviated the numbness in my little fingers, and kept me from getting unnecessary surgery.

One more thing. My wife always says, "The least amount of surgery is the best amount of surgery, and the least amount of medicine is the best amount of medicine." Before she was coroner, and during, she would visit homes where most individuals were taking multiple medications every day, for years. There were some who actually had up to 32 pills they were taking daily. Back in the 90's, our neighbor Dorothy who lived across the street, was miserable with ear drums getting holes in them. Dorothy was the one taking 32 medications. More than not are taking 5-10 medications or more for various 'conditions.' My observation and opinion is that the majority of physicians, both DO and MD, are taught in medical schools to prescribe medications for almost everything, including muscle relaxers for conditions that would better be treated by chiropractic or osteopathic manipulations and exercises. Nutrition, acupuncture, herbal remedies, homeopathics, etc., are not taught more than one or two classes in medical schools. My opinion, more people are getting killed yearly by multiple drugs prescribed to them than by guns, cars, and accidents. The body is not designed to eliminate the amount of poison (drugs) people are ingesting daily as prescribed by their physicians, thinking that this pill or that pill is going to solve their problem, just because a symptom is eliminated by the drug, with the underlying problem just getting worse and exhibiting other follow on symptoms.

Grandpa drank the bacon grease out of the frying pan every morning after it cooled down some, and he lived to be 97 when he died. And, our family had eggs, bacon or sausage, hash browns, orange juice, bread with real butter and honey and unpasteurized milk, probably at least half of our lives in total. Four eggs daily for breakfast has been my regimen for years with bacon or ham, plus my vitamins and minerals. Anything advertised as 'low fat' or artificial butter like stuff I avoid like the plague. Adele Davis used to say, "You are what you eat." That is just basic common sense. Grandpa probably never needed any laxatives.

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I just found this group. I'm not sure if my pain is exactly like this but the closest I've seen. In high school, if I slept too long on one side I would be awoken by sharp pain, but I could roll over and be fine – not every time, but often enough that I remember it. By the time I was in college I would be awoken a few times a night with the sharp pain and roll over and go back to sleep. I've now gotten to the point that I can't put any pressure on my ears for very long without having pain – even wearing a beanie in the winter for too long will start to make them hurt. The only think I can think of for the pain is like when your arm or leg fall asleep and you get to the point that you try to move and it is pins and needles – I feel like my ear pain is like that but worse. When I pull my head off the pillow or take of the beanie it hurts bad enough to make me cry out and want to cry, then within a few minutes it goes away. When i tell this to doctors, ENT, etc they either look at my funny and have no idea or a few of them have told me that the cartilage in my ears is just getting stiffer as I get older and there is nothing I can do about it. I feel like if they can just automatically say this then it should be somewhat common and if so, why can't you find out more about it on website searches, etc. I've gotten to where I take the U shaped neck pillows everywhere I go (a few around my house) and lay them flat and then put my head on those so that my ear isn't touching anything and that is the only way I'm able to sleep. But if there is anything else that can be done I would love to know.

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HI Awlis29… I had this for about 20 years, off and on. It was sporadic so I didn't go to a doctor. It occurred maybe 10 times during a year. Just recently it has gotten worse, and I sought out an ENT. She had no idea, so she told me to use a gel nasal spray. That did not work. Now the good news is…I found out through my Primary's nurse, who is a PA…that SHE had the same problem, and so did her mother. I asked what she did to get rid of it and she said to buy (and this is no joke)…."Pillow With A Hole". It's made in England, I bought it on Amazon for $66. There are imitations…but this one is the best from what I heard. I have been using it for 2 weeks now and I have had nothing. I also found out that when you're lying in bed that's when the pain comes, but whenyou stand up and walk around it dissipates. Who would think putting head (ear) in this hole in the pillow would do the trick.. but it DID !!! I suggest you go on Google and type in "The Original Pillow With a Hole"…there should be a video popping up, maybe a few of them, where you can learn more. I love this pillow, it's soft, and it puts me to sleep rather quickly. If you need more information…It is made in England, and here is the information of the manager of the Original Pillow With a Hole information: Tim Leigh his email is: tim@pwah.co.uk. I think this may just be a blessing for you.

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my outer ear is red and i have a pain its started 5 yrs ago and keeps going and coming back im 13 now ive seen doctors they say its nothing

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@cameronjarvis83

my outer ear is red and i have a pain its started 5 yrs ago and keeps going and coming back im 13 now ive seen doctors they say its nothing

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@cameronjarvis83, welcome to Connect. You'll notice that I moved your message to this existing discussion group about outer ear problems. Click VIEW & REPLY to see the discussion and scroll through past messages.

Did I understand correctly from your message that you are 13 years old and you've had pain and redness on your outer ear off and on for the past 5 years? Have you tried different pillows? Is it worse after sleeping?

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@colleenyoung

@cameronjarvis83, welcome to Connect. You'll notice that I moved your message to this existing discussion group about outer ear problems. Click VIEW & REPLY to see the discussion and scroll through past messages.

Did I understand correctly from your message that you are 13 years old and you've had pain and redness on your outer ear off and on for the past 5 years? Have you tried different pillows? Is it worse after sleeping?

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No.. I'm not 13

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Had this happen a few times now..The weirdest thing ever! Can't even touch or pull on outter ear without horrible pain. Then the stabbing earache. Earlier in day I couldn't chew without pain. Thought for sure needed a root canal. Then that evening ear pain hit suddenly! I tried heat, didn't work. I then took IB Profin, and tried my Flonase. Wanted to mention too, could bend over and turn head..could feel fluid shifting. Crazy I know, but desperate! Within 2 hrs, feeling better to sleep. I hadn't been sick, runny nose, nothing! I woke up the next morning and it was gone!! So I feel it has something to do with sinus, the fluid and pressure! Before when experiencing, was during day. I work at hospital, had 2 Dr look at ear and throat, everything normal! But that PAIN when barley touching the outside ear was unbearable. And then POOF, gone as quick as it came on. Try some Flonase and anti inflammatory. Going to make note for myself. Also noticed having some popping today. Going to try Flonase again. Good Luck!!

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@celesteh77

HI Awlis29… I had this for about 20 years, off and on. It was sporadic so I didn't go to a doctor. It occurred maybe 10 times during a year. Just recently it has gotten worse, and I sought out an ENT. She had no idea, so she told me to use a gel nasal spray. That did not work. Now the good news is…I found out through my Primary's nurse, who is a PA…that SHE had the same problem, and so did her mother. I asked what she did to get rid of it and she said to buy (and this is no joke)…."Pillow With A Hole". It's made in England, I bought it on Amazon for $66. There are imitations…but this one is the best from what I heard. I have been using it for 2 weeks now and I have had nothing. I also found out that when you're lying in bed that's when the pain comes, but whenyou stand up and walk around it dissipates. Who would think putting head (ear) in this hole in the pillow would do the trick.. but it DID !!! I suggest you go on Google and type in "The Original Pillow With a Hole"…there should be a video popping up, maybe a few of them, where you can learn more. I love this pillow, it's soft, and it puts me to sleep rather quickly. If you need more information…It is made in England, and here is the information of the manager of the Original Pillow With a Hole information: Tim Leigh his email is: tim@pwah.co.uk. I think this may just be a blessing for you.

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I wrote long note, but I think it has to do with the fluid, pressure, and sinus. I tried Flonase and it was gone the next day..just a thought

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@gpeach1988

Had this happen a few times now..The weirdest thing ever! Can't even touch or pull on outter ear without horrible pain. Then the stabbing earache. Earlier in day I couldn't chew without pain. Thought for sure needed a root canal. Then that evening ear pain hit suddenly! I tried heat, didn't work. I then took IB Profin, and tried my Flonase. Wanted to mention too, could bend over and turn head..could feel fluid shifting. Crazy I know, but desperate! Within 2 hrs, feeling better to sleep. I hadn't been sick, runny nose, nothing! I woke up the next morning and it was gone!! So I feel it has something to do with sinus, the fluid and pressure! Before when experiencing, was during day. I work at hospital, had 2 Dr look at ear and throat, everything normal! But that PAIN when barley touching the outside ear was unbearable. And then POOF, gone as quick as it came on. Try some Flonase and anti inflammatory. Going to make note for myself. Also noticed having some popping today. Going to try Flonase again. Good Luck!!

Jump to this post

I found something that works !! The nurse at my primary doctor's office told me she had this pain in the cartilege , and so did her mother. She found out about a pillow.. called "The original pillow wiith a hole) Google it.. there is a video all about it. It is made in England, cost $66. I ordered it through Amazon. You sleep with your ear in the hole. I haven't had one incident since, and it's going on 3 weeks now.. In fact, for some odd reason, I sleep through the night, and don't even have to get up so often to go to the bathroom. Make sure when you Google it, or go to Amazon, you use the words "The ORIGINAL Pillow with a Hole". I am so thrilled to be able to pass this on..

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@celesteh77

I found something that works !! The nurse at my primary doctor's office told me she had this pain in the cartilege , and so did her mother. She found out about a pillow.. called "The original pillow wiith a hole) Google it.. there is a video all about it. It is made in England, cost $66. I ordered it through Amazon. You sleep with your ear in the hole. I haven't had one incident since, and it's going on 3 weeks now.. In fact, for some odd reason, I sleep through the night, and don't even have to get up so often to go to the bathroom. Make sure when you Google it, or go to Amazon, you use the words "The ORIGINAL Pillow with a Hole". I am so thrilled to be able to pass this on..

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Doesn't work. Very uncomfortable.

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There are copy-cats out there. I said you have to buy the "Original" …made in England. My ORIGINAL Pillow With a Hole, is very soft, and very comfortable. It took about 2 weeks to arrive at my home. Something is wrong, because it does work. I guarantee you did not order the Original.

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I too have been suffering from the same pain for at least 10 yrs. I thought maybe it was because I have had 3 neck fusions. Nerve damage but no one had answers. I have just found out that I have Severe COPD. Lord it’s terrible to wake up in such pain every night. I can’t message my ear because it hurts so bad to touch it. Both sides hurt by morning from rolling over to get off the left ear. I’m at my wits end.

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Try "The Original Pillow with a Hole". It costs $66 and you can Google it or purchase from Amazon. It's made in England, and I have not had ONE iota of pain since I've been sleeping on this pillow. My doctor's nurse and her mother had the same horrible pain as you, and me. Thanks to this pillow Ihave been pain-free.. about 3 weeks already. Be sure to order the ORIGINAL (there are copycats out there, and they don't work).. This one does. Good Luck.

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