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.

Hi Nana2jojo, I have the My Pillow too. I also use a foam pillow. For some reason I have to swap them out. I do find if I wash my pillow it will work better for a bit.

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Thanks for the good suggestion. It should be put thru the washer by now anyways! I’ll try it now!

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I wash ours every 3-4 months. Dry in the dryer. Should be instructions on tag. Big difference. I go by Grammie Jo or Jojo.

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Lol
That’s funny! I tried using Jojo as that’s my nickname but it was taken!!..by you obviously! And instead I’m a nana instead of a gram!! Too coincidental! Thanks for the tip.

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@gls58

I feel you – so aggravating to yet another crazy thing the docs can't tell you what is and you sound crazy when you try and tell them about it. Tried so many things – different vitamins and minerals, went for a sleep study in case it was that. I did need a CPAP, but it didn't help with the ear pain unfortunately. I bought one of the little foam travel pillows with a hole for the ear, and it seemed to help, but was too small and I kept having to re-position it through the night to keep my ear over the hole. I got the bright idea to get a memory foam pillow and cut out a section to accommodate the small pillow inside it. Well, that didn't really work. I took out the small pillow, and then just for kicks, I put a soft cotton pillowcase over the big pillow which now had a BIG hole in it and tried that. It works better than anything I've tried. I still don't get as much rest as I'd like because I can only sleep on my sides, but it is better.

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I had same problem. It was tmj for me. I am going to try botox for it. Discontinuing bight guard use helped a bit. Sleeping on a wedge keeps me on my back so I don't irritate the nerves as much.

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@klumetta

I’ve been experiencing this same condition, it comes and goes and varies in intensity, I brought it up to my family doctor whom said she would look into it but with that look that said she thinks I’m crazy! I found this thread tonight and will try the vitamin D and calcium regiment to see if it really works. I will post back at a later date!

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So thank for your post! My daughter and I have started having this problem recently. We will try this!

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@grammiejo

I wash ours every 3-4 months. Dry in the dryer. Should be instructions on tag. Big difference. I go by Grammie Jo or Jojo.

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Thanks Grammies for the reminder about washing my pillow. I found it has helped quite a bit.
I wonder if it might be nerve damage or damage of some kind anyways. For a few years I would notice that I kept waking with my ear folded over. Couldn’t figure why. I laughed it off for the most part but it hurt somewhat of course to sleep that way. It was always the same ear (left) that I now have this problem. Coincidence?? I wonder!

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@nana2jojo

Thanks Grammies for the reminder about washing my pillow. I found it has helped quite a bit.
I wonder if it might be nerve damage or damage of some kind anyways. For a few years I would notice that I kept waking with my ear folded over. Couldn’t figure why. I laughed it off for the most part but it hurt somewhat of course to sleep that way. It was always the same ear (left) that I now have this problem. Coincidence?? I wonder!

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Had biopsy of my ear. Showed increased white blood cells, which is indicative of some kind of infection. No diagnosis though.

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Sounds like you’re getting close to answers. Will they put you antibiotics?

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Tried that. Didn't help. Been on Meloxicam for a year and a half. Really helps.

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Been suffering from this 1 to 4/5 times a year for decades. Since a teen, am now 63 yo. Recently, had 90% success with relief 10 minutes or so after extreme stretching of the head up/back with eyebrow, mouth, and jaw stretching.

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@1luckytexan

Been suffering from this 1 to 4/5 times a year for decades. Since a teen, am now 63 yo. Recently, had 90% success with relief 10 minutes or so after extreme stretching of the head up/back with eyebrow, mouth, and jaw stretching.

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Hello @1luckytexan, welcome to the group. I'm sorry you have been suffering from this for so long but happy for you that you have found relief from stretching. I'm certain it gives hope to others here that are also suffering from the same symptoms.

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@jamienolson

Hello @1luckytexan, welcome to the group. I'm sorry you have been suffering from this for so long but happy for you that you have found relief from stretching. I'm certain it gives hope to others here that are also suffering from the same symptoms.

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There is a thread about this issue at the Straightdope Forum site that was started in 2004. Although it also contains folks that seem to be suffering from migraines, TMJ, neuralgia, otitis media/externa and other seemingly unrelated issues – it is where I read about the eye/head up/back stretching approach to relief. Posting a direct link is prohibited but you could try a search at that site. it's titled Ear cartilage pain?

Liked by Jamie Olson

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@1luckytexan

There is a thread about this issue at the Straightdope Forum site that was started in 2004. Although it also contains folks that seem to be suffering from migraines, TMJ, neuralgia, otitis media/externa and other seemingly unrelated issues – it is where I read about the eye/head up/back stretching approach to relief. Posting a direct link is prohibited but you could try a search at that site. it's titled Ear cartilage pain?

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Don't have those other issues. Do, however, have serious bowel issues.

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Wow. I could not have described this ear pain any better. I have had the same issues for around 5 or more years. The ENT Doctor found nothing wrong with me, it’s around 5 am and I can’t sleep because of the pain. The kicker her is I CAN NOT SLEEP ON MY BACK! This probably would solve the issue? It’s a nightmare. I bought pillows with ear holes. Nothing works. I have also put an ice pack around ear at night. Pain meds do not work. Vitamins did not help. Why is this happening to us? I recently was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis but I truly don’t think it is linked to ear pain. If anyone has answers, please help and share. Thank you.

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