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.


DId your pillow come from England? Did it cost about $66? There are some pillows out there that claim to be the one to use…Wonder why I get relief and absolutely no discomfort or pain since I fold my own pillow and keep it away from the cartilldge…waiting on the "original" pillow the doctors office told me to buy. If I don't like it, I'll send it back. Please let me know if you bought the one from England. Thanks.

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Yes it was from England


My left ear has a throbbing sensation only when someone is speaking into my right ear.
If someone is speaking into my left ear, there is no throbbing is either ear.
If someone is speaking into my right ear, there is only a throbbing sound in my left ear.
I have spoken to an ENT about this issue, and have had no luck in gaining an explanation or solution.


Hi @wmc0002 and welcome to Connect. That must be so confusing. you may have noticed I moved your post to this existing discussion in order for you to Connect with others who have similar experience. Simply click VIEW & REPLY in your email notification to find your post.

How long have you had this throbbing?


Hi @wmc0002 and welcome to Connect. That must be so confusing. you may have noticed I moved your post to this existing discussion in order for you to Connect with others who have similar experience. Simply click VIEW & REPLY in your email notification to find your post.

How long have you had this throbbing?

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This issue has been occurring for about the last 3-4 years. I have been advised to take Sudafed or Flonase spray to try and relieve pressure. But those solutions have made no impact.

I should have also stated that this issue doesn’t not occur 100% of the time, but very often.


I have been searching for someone who has the same explanation as I do with my ears. It almost feels like my ear is trying to remove itself from my head. It is so tender that it is painful to touch, and since I have starter taking adderall, it has started radiating the pain.


Hello, @jennyt and @gls58, Welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect! Thank you for participating in our community. Sharing our personal medical stories and learning from each-other is our goal and looks like we are already off to a great start with the discussions you have both posted.

I would like to call back and introduce members @upartist, @ellienewfan, @bearylynn and @jfortinofish1 to reignite this topic of conversation. When this topic started in 2013 the posts that were made by our members have hopefully gotten some answers and relief. Can you all please give us an update? Have any of you had success with a diagnosis or do you have pain management in place that makes it now bearable to sleep at night?

@jennyt, sorry to hear you are having sleepless nights and pain, I bet that is really frustrating. When do you see your physician? Would you mind coming back and letting us know what they say about your condition? Can you also tell me- Do your ears feel hot and or flare up?

@gls58, so glad to hear you have found some pain relief! That is great news. How long did you suffer in pain before trying the calcium/vitamin D regimen? Was the post that you read stating to try the calcium/vitamin combo in Mayo Clinic Connect? If so, I could try and locate it for you. I would just need to know what group it was in.

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I can totally relate to almost everything I am reading. I have this too, but not only when I sleep. My pain has been on and off for over 20 years and can triggered at anytime. I am 48 today, and it has been more frequent and painful then ever.

Last week I resorted to an ENT after seeing a dermatologist. (My primary Dr. thought the symptoms I described could be skin related).

The ENT Dr. said my ears are perfect and he can’t see anything wrong. He had no answers. And dermatologist said the same.

In the beginning, I use to think my sunglasses were pinching a nerve. 20 years later, it can happen anytime to either ear. Sometimes it will swell and become red.

I try to keep track of what is happening before attack’s happen. After all these years, the only similarity I can relate to episodes is that; I am breathing! I doesn’t matter what time of day, mood, health food, climate etc. Most times I can feel when an episode is about to happen to prepare myself. They are intense and sometimes debilitating.

I’ve read most of the posts and I still can’t find an answer/solution as my symptoms worsen.

This is definitely a medical mystery I hope we can find relief for.

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