Ear Pain From Sleeping on Side – GONE!
Question from subscriber about ear pain from sleeping on her side.
Q: “mo, I have terrible ear pain when I sleep on my side for too long. It sounds silly, but it is not an earache; it is ear PAIN on the outside of my ear, mainly on the top cartilage of my ear, but it can go down to my lobe sometimes. Any self care tips for ear cartilage pain???” P.L. – One more quick thing: Do you happen to know why I have this type of ear pain?
A: Yes! to Part One of Your Question: I have a SIMPLE Self Care Product for YOU & everyone with sensitive ears!
The Pillow with a Hole In It.
I am a multi time purchaser and now user of The Original Pillow with a Hole In It.
I bought it a few years back at Christmas for my husband, who has ‘episodes’ of debilitating ear pain.
He used a bucky pillow for decades and would attempt to create a hole for his ear each night.
Then he’d try two pillows separated far enough that his ear had no pressure on it.
Both never made it through the night intact.
When I started researching pillows to replace his bucky, I found The Original Pillow With a Hole In It.
If you are constantly adjusting your pillow throughout the night to get comfortable yet still wake up with ear pain, try using this SIMPLY designed, EFFECTIVE product: The Original Pillow With A Hole In It.
The developer/owner- also a side sleeper- ear pain sufferer- created, tested, and revamped the pillow until the design relieved ear pain incited by sleeping on your side. This pillow is also great to use after ear piercings.
No Pressure on Your Ear
The hole for your ear allows you to rest your head on the pillow without putting pressure on your ear.
Additionally, the design allows you to adjust the height of the pillow.
How does it do that?
There is a zipper on the side and you can simply open the pillow and optimize the fill to match YOUR individual body.
Having a pillow that is at the right height for YOUR body helps promote proper spine and neck alignment, which can further reduce some of the root cause of a painful ear.
This segues us to your second quick question: “Do you happen to know why I have this type of ear pain?”
Do you happen to know why I have this type of ear pain?
I can share what I learned while researching why my husband had such searing pain.
Initially I would tease him. “How can the outside of your ear be sensitive it is just cartilage?“.
Well…, then my daughter came along and she too has ‘sensitive ears’.
So I did the research to be able to explain what was going on and have tools at the ready to be helpful.
“Otalgia, or ear pain, in or about the external ear and temporal bone may occur from multiple causes, many of which are remote from the ear itself.” (1)
A few reasons that promote External Ear pain:
“Waking up with a really painful outer ear is a strange phenomenon that is actually more common than we think. Sleeping on the same side on a pillow that’s too firm can create a constant pressure irritating the pain receptors.”
What can we do?
- Use The Pillow With A Hole In It. It removes pressure on the ear.
2. Neck Alignment
“Damage to intervertebral discs (C2/C3) or dysfunction of the cervical joints are well known causes of earache in adults, 50% of earaches occur without pathological ear findings.” (2)
What Can we do?
- Use The Chair Routine to Strengthen This One Muscle First. Begin training with the 2 and 1/2 minute routine working up to the 20 minute full routine improves posture.
- Raise electronics UP to eye level throughout the day. This makes a HUGE difference on the health of your neck. We walk trough that in the Dowager’s Hump posts.
- Adjust the Pillow That Has A Hole In It so your side sleeping alignment is RIGHT for YOUR body
3. Infection of ear cartilage
Perichondritis is an infection of the tissue lining your ear cartilage. Symptoms include pain, redness and swelling.
You will want to visit your practitioner. The Pillow With a Hole In It will help make your recovery more comfortable.
I am providing a link to an excellent picture of the Nervus Intermedius. I could not locate an image to purchase rights to use for todays post so I found a photo online- here is a link to an excellent illustration.
4. Cranial Nerves
Chronic very painful ear sensations can be from pressure on cranial nerves.
“Cranial nerves V, VII, IX, X, C2, and C3 also innervate organs outside of the ear, leading to numerous potential causes of referred ear pain.” (4)
“The pain caused by trigeminal neuralgia can be centered anywhere along the path of the trigeminal nerve, from the temple and ear region, through the center of your cheek and down through your upper and lower teeth” (5)
Cranial nerve pain that refers to the ear is beyond a simple pillow fix BUT the pillow with a hole in it can be helpful if the pressure on the ear keeps you from comfortably sleeping.
I will place some resources and references below for the case you’d like to look further into referred cranial nerve ear pain.
Why I Bought A Pillow With A Hole In It for Myself
I recently added a Pillow with a Hole In It to use before falling asleep for two reasons.
1. I needed to replace my bean speaker pillow.
The pillow that I shared with you on Youtube touting how I LOOOVVED it – recently stopped working.
I grabbed the hard speakers- the ones I shared with you that I did not like – to try again. Unfortunately I still found them to be uncomfortable. The pillow I use to sleep with is VERY thin and I could feel them. PLUS
2. My neck was uncomfortable. The bean was higher and accommodated my posture while on my side.
My sleeping pillow is very thin (I sleep on my stomach) so both the earphones, and head phones pushed into my ear.
One morning as I was making the bed I grabbed my husbands pillow with the hole in it and placed the hard speakers- I dislike – in the hole…It worked great!
Come to find out the company lists using the pillow with earphones/headphones as one of its uses.
I ordered my own pillow with a hole in it immediately.
Once it arrived I played around with all my different speakers and I found I really like using a new Bluetooth speaker strip that I received as a gift. It works great and it is soft.
Now my neck is nicely aligned while watching some comedy before switching to my sleeping pillow. I simply move my pillow with a hole in it to the side and place my soft strip under my sleeping pillow listening to my HPA Axis video to fall asleep.
There are multiple reasons for a painful outer ear.
The Original Pillow With a Hole In It is a simple self-care product that can:
- eliminate waking with a painful ear that is caused by the compression of side sleeping
- make a big difference in your neck alignment when you sleep on your side because it can be optimized for your individual body frame.
- protect and help comfort an inflamed ear while healing from an infection or from piercings
I appreciate you 2 questions P.L. !
Have a Self Care question on your mind? I’d love to hear from you. 💌 : firstname.lastname@example.org
Linked References/Resources for you
1. Turner JS JR.. Otalgia and Otorrhea. In: Walker HK, Hall WD, Hurst JW, editors. Clinical Methods: The History, Physical, and Laboratory Examinations. 3rd edition. Boston: Butterworths; 1990. Chapter 122. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK227/
2. Deutsche Gesellschaft für Allgemeinmedizin und Familienmedizin (DEGAM). Ohrenschmerzen (S2k-Leitlinie). AWMF-Registernr.: 053-009. 11.2014.
3. Nervus intermedius. Nervus intermedius – an overview | ScienceDirect Topics. (n.d.). Retrieved October 14, 2022, from https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/
4. Coulter J, Kwon E. Otalgia. [Updated 2021 Aug 3]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK549830/
5. Trigeminal neuralgia. Johns Hopkins Medicine. (2021, September 29). Retrieved October 15, 2022, from https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/trigeminal-neuralgia
Resources for you: Cranial Nerves that can refer pain to the ear:
Nervus Intermedius Ilustration: Uptodate 2018. (n.d.). Retrieved October 15, 2022, from https://ykhoa.org/d/image.htm?imageKey=NEURO%2F68923
Demir T, Erdem M, Biçakci Ş. A Very Rare Type of Neuralgia: Nervus Intermedius Neuralgia. Noro Psikiyatr Ars. 2017 Sep;54(3):282-283. doi: 10.5152/npa.2016.12654. Epub 2016 Sep 1. PMID: 29033644; PMCID: PMC5630110.
Facial Pain Association includes Ear Pain. This links to their Ear Pain page on the website