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.

A photo of the pillow I ordered. It's small and just thick enough to keep your ear from touching your pillow.

il_1588xN

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@maryb9

I didn't read the entire thread, but I have suffered with the same problem for years. It sometimes wakes me from a sound sleep. Has someone mentioned piercing or CNH pillows? I just ordered a CNH pillow from an Etsy seller. If you search CNH pillow or piercing pillow on Etsy, you will find at least 2 different sellers. I will be getting my pillow this week. I'll post if it helps or not.

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I hadn’t heard of these. I just checked it out on Amazon. Some are pretty pricey. Let us know if it works for you and I’ll order one. Thanks for the info!

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Fellow ear pain sufferers – I posted my solution a while ago and haven’t heard from anyone that it works for you too. I was having the excruciating outer ear pain mostly at night, but even sometimes during the day. I found that massaging the ear cartilage with creamy lotion (my facial moisturizer) immediately solves the pain!! NOW,I apply the cream upon awakening, after showering, and before bed every day = I’ve only had the middle of the night pain maybe once in the last year (previously it was happening a few times a week!). PLEASE TRY THIS AND LET ME KNOW – IT’S AN AMAZING SOLUTION

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@maryb9

I didn't read the entire thread, but I have suffered with the same problem for years. It sometimes wakes me from a sound sleep. Has someone mentioned piercing or CNH pillows? I just ordered a CNH pillow from an Etsy seller. If you search CNH pillow or piercing pillow on Etsy, you will find at least 2 different sellers. I will be getting my pillow this week. I'll post if it helps or not.

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I would like the small ear pillow you ordered but I looked and said they are sold out of it. Too bad. Do let us know how you like it.

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@poco

Fellow ear pain sufferers – I posted my solution a while ago and haven’t heard from anyone that it works for you too. I was having the excruciating outer ear pain mostly at night, but even sometimes during the day. I found that massaging the ear cartilage with creamy lotion (my facial moisturizer) immediately solves the pain!! NOW,I apply the cream upon awakening, after showering, and before bed every day = I’ve only had the middle of the night pain maybe once in the last year (previously it was happening a few times a week!). PLEASE TRY THIS AND LET ME KNOW – IT’S AN AMAZING SOLUTION

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I’ll try it. Thanks for sharing!

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Great. Please let me know if it works for you I’d love to help somebody else

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@bearylynn

Based on my experience, you may never get answer [or maybe you will???}

I believe I have a chronic, low grade infection – perhaps fungal or bacterial.
I have had great relief for a little while now {it feels wonderful to be able to sleep on my left side for the 1st time in so long}.
I’ve been recently using infrared heat to warm up multiple painful body locations, which happen to include ears, neck and sinuses, as well as LOTS of other areas on my EDS/body of chronic pain. At this time it is helpful.
I believe the heat kills whatever low-grade infection may be lingering in the area.

I will NOT give any advice about the heat therapy. I would leave the decisions related to the infrared heat use completely up to you and whatever you decide/discover/research on the topic.

Take note though, that many saunas use infrared as the heat source.

Good luck. Let me know if you ever do have any improvement if you know the reason for the improvement.

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Eds body like Ehlers Danlos Syndrome ? I too have Ehlers Danlos and have had the extremely painful outer ears almost every night for years. I thought I had found the solution. Purple pillow. I could sleep on either side and no ear pain until I washed the cover and my pillowcase. Last night the intense pain returned. Don't know what to do.

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@cyndi30107

Eds body like Ehlers Danlos Syndrome ? I too have Ehlers Danlos and have had the extremely painful outer ears almost every night for years. I thought I had found the solution. Purple pillow. I could sleep on either side and no ear pain until I washed the cover and my pillowcase. Last night the intense pain returned. Don't know what to do.

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I found MELOXICAM. Take it just before bed. I was having this pain, every night, before Meloxicam. Now only experience the pain, maybe once or twice a month. This has been a lifesaver.

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@cyndi30107

Eds body like Ehlers Danlos Syndrome ? I too have Ehlers Danlos and have had the extremely painful outer ears almost every night for years. I thought I had found the solution. Purple pillow. I could sleep on either side and no ear pain until I washed the cover and my pillowcase. Last night the intense pain returned. Don't know what to do.

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@cyndi30107 Welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect, a place to give and get support.

Years of painful ears sounds like a long time.

May I ask, why washing the cover and pillowcase would cause ear pain? I assume I'm misunderstanding and I apologize.

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I've been suffering from this ear pain for quite a few years – it originated when my wife replaced our 'comfortable' pillows with very expensive goose-feather versions that were so pumped full of feathers no air could get to my ears and they 'over-heated' (subsequent discarding of the pillows has earned me little sympathy from my wife). Once started, the pain occurred every night and got so bad that I had to (try to) sleep on my back as the pain would start even as I turned my head a fraction to one side or the other – almost like the bubble in a spirit level moving off centre was enough to initiate it. Because of this, I began to doubt myself and think this must all be in my mind being some sort of self-induced psychosomatic pain …… so it was a huge relief to find this site and these conversations (and, as others say, to realise I'm not alone and not going crazy!)

The reason for joining this conversation, however, is to report that one of the contributors (back in 2017) suggested a solution, which I tried, and found to work. They had taken a mix of vitamins (Calcium and Vit D) and had found, initially, that it worked – so I did the same, and the results are:
– Started taking off-the-shelf Calcium and Vit D in the middle of January 2021
– 10 days into it had to give up the Calcium as it was, for some reason, upsetting my tummy, but continued Vit D
– By mid-Feb, 2 weeks of Vit D brought an astonishing change and, although not completely eliminated, I found the worst of the pain had gone and I could, on occasion, lay on my side. It wasn't guaranteed not to hurt, but I did get some sleep-on-my-side nights
– Now, in the first week of March the situation is that I can get off to sleep lying on my right ear no problem, whilst the left is uncomfortable (but not really painful)
……..I wake up about 2.00pm-ish (like clockwork) with no pain but then find it uncomfortable, at that point, to lie on either side, again
……..I take a couple of aspirins, lay on my back, try and blank my mind, and then find I wake up in the morning having slept on either side, with no pain

Apologies for the length of this note but I really felt obliged to mention the success from Vit D and thank the correspondent who suggested it. It's not for me, off course, to persuade anybody of any quackery-solutions but I hope my positive experience suggests that there are ways around this awful pain (whatever it is)

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@tim100

I've been suffering from this ear pain for quite a few years – it originated when my wife replaced our 'comfortable' pillows with very expensive goose-feather versions that were so pumped full of feathers no air could get to my ears and they 'over-heated' (subsequent discarding of the pillows has earned me little sympathy from my wife). Once started, the pain occurred every night and got so bad that I had to (try to) sleep on my back as the pain would start even as I turned my head a fraction to one side or the other – almost like the bubble in a spirit level moving off centre was enough to initiate it. Because of this, I began to doubt myself and think this must all be in my mind being some sort of self-induced psychosomatic pain …… so it was a huge relief to find this site and these conversations (and, as others say, to realise I'm not alone and not going crazy!)

The reason for joining this conversation, however, is to report that one of the contributors (back in 2017) suggested a solution, which I tried, and found to work. They had taken a mix of vitamins (Calcium and Vit D) and had found, initially, that it worked – so I did the same, and the results are:
– Started taking off-the-shelf Calcium and Vit D in the middle of January 2021
– 10 days into it had to give up the Calcium as it was, for some reason, upsetting my tummy, but continued Vit D
– By mid-Feb, 2 weeks of Vit D brought an astonishing change and, although not completely eliminated, I found the worst of the pain had gone and I could, on occasion, lay on my side. It wasn't guaranteed not to hurt, but I did get some sleep-on-my-side nights
– Now, in the first week of March the situation is that I can get off to sleep lying on my right ear no problem, whilst the left is uncomfortable (but not really painful)
……..I wake up about 2.00pm-ish (like clockwork) with no pain but then find it uncomfortable, at that point, to lie on either side, again
……..I take a couple of aspirins, lay on my back, try and blank my mind, and then find I wake up in the morning having slept on either side, with no pain

Apologies for the length of this note but I really felt obliged to mention the success from Vit D and thank the correspondent who suggested it. It's not for me, off course, to persuade anybody of any quackery-solutions but I hope my positive experience suggests that there are ways around this awful pain (whatever it is)

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I take Meloxicam. Pretty much fixed my ear pain.

REPLY
@tim100

I've been suffering from this ear pain for quite a few years – it originated when my wife replaced our 'comfortable' pillows with very expensive goose-feather versions that were so pumped full of feathers no air could get to my ears and they 'over-heated' (subsequent discarding of the pillows has earned me little sympathy from my wife). Once started, the pain occurred every night and got so bad that I had to (try to) sleep on my back as the pain would start even as I turned my head a fraction to one side or the other – almost like the bubble in a spirit level moving off centre was enough to initiate it. Because of this, I began to doubt myself and think this must all be in my mind being some sort of self-induced psychosomatic pain …… so it was a huge relief to find this site and these conversations (and, as others say, to realise I'm not alone and not going crazy!)

The reason for joining this conversation, however, is to report that one of the contributors (back in 2017) suggested a solution, which I tried, and found to work. They had taken a mix of vitamins (Calcium and Vit D) and had found, initially, that it worked – so I did the same, and the results are:
– Started taking off-the-shelf Calcium and Vit D in the middle of January 2021
– 10 days into it had to give up the Calcium as it was, for some reason, upsetting my tummy, but continued Vit D
– By mid-Feb, 2 weeks of Vit D brought an astonishing change and, although not completely eliminated, I found the worst of the pain had gone and I could, on occasion, lay on my side. It wasn't guaranteed not to hurt, but I did get some sleep-on-my-side nights
– Now, in the first week of March the situation is that I can get off to sleep lying on my right ear no problem, whilst the left is uncomfortable (but not really painful)
……..I wake up about 2.00pm-ish (like clockwork) with no pain but then find it uncomfortable, at that point, to lie on either side, again
……..I take a couple of aspirins, lay on my back, try and blank my mind, and then find I wake up in the morning having slept on either side, with no pain

Apologies for the length of this note but I really felt obliged to mention the success from Vit D and thank the correspondent who suggested it. It's not for me, off course, to persuade anybody of any quackery-solutions but I hope my positive experience suggests that there are ways around this awful pain (whatever it is)

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@tim100-Great that you found relief. As an FYI, increasing Vit D is not quackery, so feel empowered that you are helping your body from within. Low Vit D has been shown to cause inflammatory affects. Many Americans are deficient in Vit D. As well as many other vital vitamin/nutrients. Aches and pains often times cause people to reach for quick fix OTC meds which don’t address the real causes and can further cause depletions else where. Good for you for trying an approach your entire body can benefit from.

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