Ear cartilage pain when sleeping on side

Ear cartilage pain when sleeping on side

Until a person is touched by some kind of trouble, he, in principle, does not even know about the existence of such. Viewed various forums indicate that quite a lot of people are familiar with such a phenomenon as pain in the cartilage of the ear.

At first glance, it seems like a strange wording, and many members of the forum, as it were, at first speak very hesitantly, fearing to be ridiculed. But in fact, they find understanding and “friends in misfortune.” So why does ear cartilage pain when sleeping on the side? Let us consider in more detail this phenomenon and the reasons for its occurrence.

What is ear cartilage

Cartilage is the basis of the human ear. The appearance of the outer ear depends on what kind of relief it has. It is worth noting that the human hearing organ is individual , as well as the pattern on the fingers.

Cartilage almost entirely consists of a specific tissue, which is based on 2 types of components:

  • cellular;
  • non-cellular.

It should be noted that the cartilage tissue is based on non-cellular elements, which are its most important functional link. In addition, the presented components are divided into the following types:

  • Structures (collagen and elastic).
  • Substance is the basis.

If the non-cellular components of the ear cartilage are considered to be the first fundamental link of such tissue, then the matrix is ​​considered as the second link in importance and necessity.

The matrix is ​​an intercellular space between fibers and cells, united in a system of a kind of channels. Thanks to the processes occurring in the matrix, ear cartilage tissues are fully provided with metabolism and biomechanics .

As for the cellular components, they are directly involved in building cartilage tissue, as well as in its continuous regeneration and further restoration.

The cellular and non-cellular components of the ear cartilage seem to float in the main gel-like substance, which is the metabolic medium. The function of such a substance is a buffer and integrative action.

Having acquainted the reader with the features of cartilage tissue, let’s move on to considering the ear cartilage pain.

Causes of pain in the ear cartilage

The reasons for which the ear cartilage pain on the outside and the cartilage abound, and they can be caused by a wide variety of factors. It is noteworthy that any type of pathology provokes a certain reaction, since the body is trying with all its might to reject a disease that disrupts its normal functioning.

Consider the common culprits that cause pain in the auricle.

Important! Studying the proposed facts, it is still worth remembering that only a competent and qualified specialist will be able to diagnose the true cause of the disease and prescribe the necessary therapy.


The ear cartilage hurts if it is injured in some way.

A cartilage puncture or a hard blow can cause bruising, tissue damage, or inflammation.

Cartilage injury can also occur due to the negative impact of environmental factors.

It can be strong gusts of wind, and burns, and frostbite, as well as contact with the skin of various harmful chemicals.

Let’s give an example, probably many people are familiar with the unpleasant tingling of the ears and the tip of the nose in severe frost. This is the same damage caused by one of the environmental factors.

Among the obvious causes of acute pain in the cartilage, there is a serious injury to the auricle, for example, partial or complete separation of it. Such cases are far from uncommon, due to the fact that a person is not insured against various accidents.

The only right decision in such a situation is urgent surgical intervention , designed to save the life of the victim and his ear.

Read Also: Otorrhagia (ear bleeding): causes and action to take

Allergic reactions

Sometimes the source of ear cartilage pain may be the most unexpected.

An allergic reaction of the body to any irritant may well provoke an unpleasant soreness of the cartilage, and it will also add itching.

The influence of such a factor is more susceptible to people who suffer from dryness in the ear canal caused by a lack of sulfur formation.

Also, a hypersensitivity reaction can occur under the influence of fungi , which can easily get into the ear and begin to multiply there.

Also, the development of an allergic reaction, provoking pain in the cartilage, may also be an excessive accumulation of sulfur in the organ of hearing . In addition, sulfur can close the ear canal, as a result of which hearing is significantly reduced.

Cartilage tenderness and tightness in the ear can also be caused by allergic rhinitis or sinusitis .

Neuralgia and pathology of the jaw joint

Sometimes the ear cartilage pain due to inflammation of the trigeminal, intermediate, or glossopharyngeal nerves.

If occipital neuralgia is observed, then the pain syndrome appears in the outer part of the hearing organ.

With inflammation of the trigeminal nerve, which is often only one-sided, the manifestation of pain is noted in the parotid region.

In the event that the inflammatory process develops in the nerve trunks near the face, then the focus of the pain syndrome is located in the cartilage of the ear. In this case, such inflammation is characterized by such manifestations:

  • pressure in the ear cavity;
  • severe pain with a wide opening of the mouth;
  • the appearance of rashes of a herpetic type after a few days.

As for inflammation of the temporomandibular joint, the pain syndrome appears first in the jaw, and then spreads to the ears.

Jaw movements cause pain in the cartilage from the side of the inflamed joint, and a loud click is heard when the mouth is opened wide.

Inflammatory and infectious diseases

The inflammatory process of the human hearing organ can develop in its various departments:

  • Inner ear.
  • Middle ear.
  • Outer ear.

Most often, it is otitis externa that provokes pain in the cartilage, as well as the occurrence of unpleasant sensations in the ear shell.

The cause of the pain syndrome is various pathogens that penetrate the ear and cause the development of inflammation.

Such a pathology as perichondritis, which is an infectious lesion of cartilage tissues, can cause severe pain not only in the cartilage itself, but in the entire outer ear. In addition, pain in the ear cavity and cartilage can occur against the background of such ailments as sinusitis, mumps, rhinitis, etc.

People involved in swimming quite often experience pain in the cartilage of the ear. This is due to the fact that the ear almost always interacts with water and under its influence the skin becomes soft and swells, as a result of which it is much easier for various infections to penetrate the ear cavity and cause inflammation of the shells, cartilage or eardrums. Medicine dubbed this phenomenon as ” swimmer’s ear “.

Why does the ear cartilage pain when sleeping on side

Many of us have noticed this phenomenon, when, after a rest, for some unknown reason, the auricle begins to hurt and, as a rule, one. If there are no symptoms of the above diseases and everything is in order with the ears, then you should pay attention to some factors.

Perhaps you are not resting properly or the wrong bedding has been selected? Whatever it is, in any case, it is worth reconsidering the following points, among which it may be your cause of ear cartilage pain after sleep:

  • too hard pillow or no pillow at all – in this case, you can press very hard on the cartilage itself and the entire auricle. No wonder that in the morning the exhausted ear will make itself felt;
  • wrong posture for sleeping – those cases are quite frequent when a person tired after a working day falls asleep “without hind legs” and at the same time does not follow how he lies at all. And, by the way, the auricle can turn in the opposite direction, closing the ear canal, which in the morning will respond with aching pain;
  • violation of blood microcirculation – this can happen if a person lies in one position for a long time, in this case on his side. To the auricle, which is under constant pressure, the blood begins to flow poorly, resulting in painful sensations.

If such factors are absent in your life, then it is best in this case to visit a competent specialist who will help you deal with the problem that has arisen.

Whatever the cause of pain in the ear cartilage, self-medication and elimination of such a problem is not worth it. The close proximity of the brain and optic nerves is the very reason why it is necessary to receive qualified medical care in order to avoid irreversible consequences.

Read: Otorrhagia (ear bleeding): causes and action to take

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