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Why do I get pain in my ear while sleeping on it?

Thursday, 27 May 2004
Answered by: Dr. Anil Safaya
Consultant ENT Surgeon,
Safdarjung Hospital,
New Delhi
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Q. I get a very severe pain in my right ear when I am sleeping on that side. This pain I get once in 15 days. It happens when I am in deep sleep and I get up as the pain is too severe and I have to rub and lie straight before it goes; it takes 2 minutes to subside down. The pain is on the outside of the entire ear and not inside. I have shown it to an ENT expert who recommended that I take a pain killer if it is extreme; also he says it could be when I chew hard things from the right side of my jaw. Please advise.

A.  It is quite possible that you have a very friable elastic cartilage in the ear making your ear very supple and soft. So when you sleep on that side, maybe the pinna that is the outside part of the ear gets pressed or under pressure, it swells and thus starts to pain. Once you will turn around, the swelling or the pressure is released and thus the pain becomes better. There is no need to take a pain killer. Just use a softer pillow, may be.

A.  It is quite possible that you have a very friable elastic cartilage in the ear making your ear very supple and soft. So when you sleep on that side, maybe the pinna that is the outside part of the ear gets pressed or under pressure, it swells and thus starts to pain. Once you will turn around, the swelling or the pressure is released and thus the pain becomes better. There is no need to take a pain killer. Just use a softer pillow, may be.

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