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.

Meloxicam. Works for me. I think it is related to an auto immune disease. I had ear biopsy. Showed increased white blood cells in tissue. Dr. cited inflammation, systemic. Also, had other issues related to inflammation. Meloxicam is AMAZING. I was bedridden, prior, to this medication. Not perfect. But able to get up, now, and live my life.

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@saraann

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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saraan – is your ear red and warm? Does the condition last for days? If so, you might consider Nibor's suggestion. But my ear cartilage pain has no other symptom than pain. Usually a vague to moderate ache, but with extreme pain when touched or even moved with smiling or eyebrow lifting etc. may be gone in 30 minute to half a day. Have only had longer period of time once. But, extreme stretching of the head neck has been marvelous at clearing the problem the last few times I have tried it. Be sure to include tilting the head back while smiling broadly and maybe even rolling the eyes back in the head. Still in the experimental satge with this technique since it can be months between 'attacks'. good luck

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My ear is hot, red, hurts, sometimes EXTREME pain, but only with pressure. Was only with sleeping on side, until starting Meloxicam. Also, had pain, redness, in both feet when walking, standing. Meloxicam fixed that too. Now only issues are bowel related. Chronic diahrea.

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@1luckytexan

saraan – is your ear red and warm? Does the condition last for days? If so, you might consider Nibor's suggestion. But my ear cartilage pain has no other symptom than pain. Usually a vague to moderate ache, but with extreme pain when touched or even moved with smiling or eyebrow lifting etc. may be gone in 30 minute to half a day. Have only had longer period of time once. But, extreme stretching of the head neck has been marvelous at clearing the problem the last few times I have tried it. Be sure to include tilting the head back while smiling broadly and maybe even rolling the eyes back in the head. Still in the experimental satge with this technique since it can be months between 'attacks'. good luck

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The extreme pain only happens when I am sleeping and lying down on either ear side. It never happens during the day. I though it happened because of a sinus infection many times but even after antibiotics it still happens. I take my head away from the pillow or sit up and the pain goes away. I also tried different pillows in case of an allergy but still the pain reappears. No the ear is not red. I can’t figure out why this is happening. I appreciate the input. Thanks.

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@nibor63

My ear is hot, red, hurts, sometimes EXTREME pain, but only with pressure. Was only with sleeping on side, until starting Meloxicam. Also, had pain, redness, in both feet when walking, standing. Meloxicam fixed that too. Now only issues are bowel related. Chronic diahrea.

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Hi. I am on a pain medication and also ibuprofen and neither assist with the pain. It’s so random I wonder if anyone is ever going to be able to assist 😭

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@saraann

Hi. I am on a pain medication and also ibuprofen and neither assist with the pain. It’s so random I wonder if anyone is ever going to be able to assist 😭

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@saraann Mine is also only when sleeping on my side. I've tried lots of stuff I've found recommended on this site and others with no luck. The doctors just look at you while you describe the pain, say "huh" and move on. The last thing I tried that helps wasn't actually related to my ears, but to my hips. I ordered a shredded memory foam body pillow because I can't get the poly filled pillows to stay put between my knees when I sleep. The one I ordered has a medium amount of fill and is long enough to go between my legs and also under my head. I am able to punch out a "well" for my ear to rest over and I've had almost no ear pain with this. It works for me,so I thought I'd at least mention it. It's not a diagnosis or a cure, but at least it reduces the symptoms. It's the Milliard Body Pillow with Shredded Memory Foam (Long Pillow) if you are interested. The best $40 I've ever spent. Good luck!

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Hello, I have just joined the Mayo Clinic, and hoping that someone can help me. For a long time now I have been having severe outer ear pain when I lay on them at night , it is disturbing my sleep so much, tossing from one side to the other for relief for a little while, I cannot lay on my back due to a back condition scoliosis, this is really getting me down, and continues for a while even after I get up, my doctor does not know what it is , has tried some analgesic cream, but that's not working, I have tried numerous pillow types, even an expensive hole in the middle one , with no relief, please can anyone help. I did see that someone on here had help after taking calcium with vit d, has anyone else tried this ?.

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@patandpete

Hello, I have just joined the Mayo Clinic, and hoping that someone can help me. For a long time now I have been having severe outer ear pain when I lay on them at night , it is disturbing my sleep so much, tossing from one side to the other for relief for a little while, I cannot lay on my back due to a back condition scoliosis, this is really getting me down, and continues for a while even after I get up, my doctor does not know what it is , has tried some analgesic cream, but that's not working, I have tried numerous pillow types, even an expensive hole in the middle one , with no relief, please can anyone help. I did see that someone on here had help after taking calcium with vit d, has anyone else tried this ?.

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Hi, @patandpete. Welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. I'm very sorry to hear you have had so much pain in your outer ear and that treatments so far have not helped.

You'll note I merged your post with this conversation, where members like @1luckytexan @saraann @gls58 @nibor63 and others have been talking about very similar experiences. Hoping they may have some insights for you on this pain you are experiencing when you lie on your ear(s) at night.

@patandpete – can you share a bit more about whether you experience this during the day at all and what the pain feels like (e.g., stinging, sharp pain, burning)?

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@lisalucier

Hi, @patandpete. Welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. I'm very sorry to hear you have had so much pain in your outer ear and that treatments so far have not helped.

You'll note I merged your post with this conversation, where members like @1luckytexan @saraann @gls58 @nibor63 and others have been talking about very similar experiences. Hoping they may have some insights for you on this pain you are experiencing when you lie on your ear(s) at night.

@patandpete – can you share a bit more about whether you experience this during the day at all and what the pain feels like (e.g., stinging, sharp pain, burning)?

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Thank you for merging my question for help with my outer ear pain. Hard to describe what it's like, it just s real pain , which wakes me up every night and makes me toss and turn to alternate ears, yes as I sit here now it's not paining, but is tgrobbing a bit, my ear is not red .

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Sorry throbbing I meant .

Liked by Lisa Lucier

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@patandpete

Thank you for merging my question for help with my outer ear pain. Hard to describe what it's like, it just s real pain , which wakes me up every night and makes me toss and turn to alternate ears, yes as I sit here now it's not paining, but is tgrobbing a bit, my ear is not red .

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I had this over 15 years. I had a post over a year ago on this chain. Long story short. For past 4 years no more waking up up with ear throbbing. Through a chiropractor issue with my neck. ( Nothing to do with my ear) he had me by a water pillow. Didn't help my neck. But a miracle for my ear. Kept on thinking it's a fluke. Till I stayed in a hotel on vacation. Ear throbbing every night what ever side I was laying on. Went home 1st night no ear pain! Bought a travel size. Never leave home without it. The pain is u have to drain it to get on plane.

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@karenwithnomoreearpain

I had this over 15 years. I had a post over a year ago on this chain. Long story short. For past 4 years no more waking up up with ear throbbing. Through a chiropractor issue with my neck. ( Nothing to do with my ear) he had me by a water pillow. Didn't help my neck. But a miracle for my ear. Kept on thinking it's a fluke. Till I stayed in a hotel on vacation. Ear throbbing every night what ever side I was laying on. Went home 1st night no ear pain! Bought a travel size. Never leave home without it. The pain is u have to drain it to get on plane.

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Thank you very interesting, hope I can get one here in the U.K, anything is worth trying for relief from this .

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@karenwithnomoreearpain

I had this over 15 years. I had a post over a year ago on this chain. Long story short. For past 4 years no more waking up up with ear throbbing. Through a chiropractor issue with my neck. ( Nothing to do with my ear) he had me by a water pillow. Didn't help my neck. But a miracle for my ear. Kept on thinking it's a fluke. Till I stayed in a hotel on vacation. Ear throbbing every night what ever side I was laying on. Went home 1st night no ear pain! Bought a travel size. Never leave home without it. The pain is u have to drain it to get on plane.

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Can you please tell me what brand water pillow you got as there are so many, and quite expensive, but worth it if they work ?.

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@patandpete

Can you please tell me what brand water pillow you got as there are so many, and quite expensive, but worth it if they work ?.

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Chiroflow, I paid a lot for my 1st one since I bought it at chiropractor office. But I bought 1 for my cabin and a travel size on Amazon 1/2 the price.

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@patandpete

Can you please tell me what brand water pillow you got as there are so many, and quite expensive, but worth it if they work ?.

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I just checked online. I bought mine 4 years ago. So I would assume it would be the less expensive one as they have new ones with gel ECT. I don't have gel or anything fancy.

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