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Date of last update: 8/21/2017.

Forum Name: Rheumatology Topics

Question: Ear cartiledge pain

 kash - Fri Jan 13, 2006 5:17 pm

This one should be funny....I'm 42, but since I was a child I often wake up with absolutely excruiating pain in my outer ear. This is always after being on my side. The pain is so horrible that I can hardly move my head after I've pulled my ear from the pillow. I gently rub and pull on my lobes and wait for the blood to flow again. The pain subsides after that, but it isn't immediate. I often have residual pain well into the next day and beyond. About a year ago I started using one of those memory foam pillows and I've notice that this ear pain occurs almost nightly. I assume it's due to lost circulation, but I would expect to feel numbness rather than severe pain. As I said, I remember this going back to my childhood, but it's just recently that it has escalated.

 Dr. P. M. Aries - Sun Jan 15, 2006 3:12 pm

User avatar There are diseases that involve the cartilage of the ear, but they are due to inflammation and are mostly only a symptom of an other disease. But the way you are describing it, it sounds more like circulation problems. Does it happen in the winter when you are going outside ?
 kash - Sun Jan 15, 2006 6:33 pm

No, it's only when I've been asleep on my side. Once I get the blood flowing again it's still tender, but not so painful that I can't turn over and lay on the other ear. I don't try to lay on that ear for a while though!
 pt_i_am - Thu Feb 15, 2007 5:37 pm

Wow! I had that as a child too! However now I have it most every day and sometimes it is very severe. I have told the doctors, but they don't seem to get it! One told me that I have TMJ, which I know that I have it and have been treated for it. But my ear feels hot and very painful to touch.
 kash - Fri Feb 16, 2007 12:27 pm

Exactly! I was beginning to think I was the only one. At 3 a.m. today I cringed as I unstuck my ear from the pillow, turned my head very slowly and rubbed and pulled my lobe until it started to subside. I swear it's like I've been sleeping on a suction cup!

I don't what TMJ would have to do with it...definitely not in the jaw area...just on the's crazy!

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