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Getting sharp pain in ear lobe. Painful while opening mouth and touching. Took ibuprofen. Is it ok?

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ENT Specialist
Practicing since : 1991
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Hello Dr. Bhatti,
I get sharp pain in my right ear lobe sometimes mostly at night, it is very sharp and i can't touch my ear lobe at that time. Pain worsens when i even open my mouth or when i turn my head to other side on the bed during that time. It stays for hours, I took Ibuprofen to relieve it.
Posted Tue, 31 Jul 2012 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Answered by Dr. Sumit Bhatti 16 hours later

Thank you for your query.

1. If you have a tendency to sleep on your right side, it is possible that the right ear lobe gets folded or the pressure from the pillow temporarily cuts off the blood supply resulting in excruciating pain.

2. Does this happen when you sleep on your back? You may support yourself from both sides with large pillows and try this out.

3. The nerve supply of the ear lobe is through the Greater Auricular Nerve which arises from the cervical plexus of nerves. Hence this may also be due to cervical spine problems. However, referred pain is less likely to be extremely painful.

4. Diabetes and hypertension tend to damage small nerves and blood vessels.Ear lobe blood vessels are end arteries and are more susceptible to damage.

5. I must emphasize that this is unlikely to be a serious problem. You XXXXXXX continue to take Ibuprofen for a few days. Do get the earlobe checked for any lump or discoloration. Kindly let me know if this problem persists if you sleep on your back or on the other side.

I hope that I have answered your queries. If you have any further questions, I will be available to answer them.

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