Looking for a comfortable sleep with a ruptured eardrum? Uncover the answer to What Side Should I Sleep on With a Ruptured Eardrum?
A ruptured eardrum occurs when there is a tear or hole in the thin membrane that separates the outer ear from the middle ear. This condition turns even the simplest tasks into challenges, and sleep is no exception. The question, “What side should I Sleep on with a Ruptured Eardrum?” is one that comes up frequently. Read on to know its answer.
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Symptoms of Ruptured Eardrum
A person having a ruptured eardrum can experience the following symptoms:
- Ear Pain: Sudden and sharp ear pain is a common symptom.
- Hearing Loss: Partial or temporary hearing loss in the affected ear.
- Ear Discharge: Fluid or pus drainage from the ear.
- Ringing in the Ear: Tinnitus, or a ringing or buzzing sound in the ear.
- Vertigo: Some individuals can experience dizziness or imbalance.
- Ear Fullness: A sensation of fullness or pressure in the ear.
- Decreased Sound Sensitivity: Sounds can seem muffled or quieter in the affected ear.
Note – Not everyone with a ruptured eardrum will experience all these symptoms, and the severity of symptoms can vary.
Can You Sleep on a Ruptured Eardrum?
Sleeping on a ruptured eardrum is generally not advised due to the risk of further damage and infection. Lying on the affected ear can exacerbate pain and delay the healing process.
What Side Should I Sleep on With a Ruptured Eardrum?
When sleeping with a ruptured eardrum, choose a comfortable position that minimizes discomfort. Here are some tips to consider:
- Sleep on the Opposite Side: If you have a ruptured eardrum in your left ear, sleep on your right side, and vice versa. This helps prevent pressure and drainage from affecting the problematic ear.
- Use Extra Pillow Support: Elevate your head slightly with a pillow to keep the affected ear higher than the rest of your body. This reduces the risk of fluids flowing into the ear and causing irritation.
- Avoid Sleeping on Your Back: Sleeping on your back can allow fluids to flow more easily into the ear canal, causing discomfort or infection.
What Does a Ruptured Eardrum Look Like?
A ruptured eardrum, also known as a tympanic membrane perforation, typically appears as a hole or tear in the eardrum, which can vary in size and location. Depending on the severity, the rupture might be visible as a dark spot or gap when examined with an otoscope.
What Causes a Ruptured Eardrum?
A ruptured eardrum (tympanic membrane perforation) can be caused by various factors, including:
- Infections: Ear infections, particularly middle ear infections, can lead to the accumulation of fluid behind the eardrum, causing it to rupture.
- Trauma: Direct blows to the ear, a sudden change in air pressure (from diving or flying), or inserting objects into the ear canal results in a ruptured eardrum.
- Loud Sounds: Exposure to loud noises or explosions ruptures the eardrum.
- Barotrauma: Rapid changes in air pressure put stress on the eardrum, leading to a ruptured eardrum.
- Earwax Removal: Aggressive attempts to remove earwax using improper tools can cause injury to the eardrum.
Ruptured Eardrum Healing Time
The healing time for a ruptured eardrum can vary widely depending on the size and cause of the rupture. In many cases, small perforations can heal on their own within a few weeks. However, larger or more complex ruptures can take several months to heal.
How To Care for Ruptured Eardrum?
- Rest and Avoid Irritants: Give your ear adequate rest and avoid inserting anything into the ear canal, including cotton swabs.
- Keep it Dry: Prevent water from entering the ear during bathing or swimming using earplugs or a waterproof ear cover.
- Avoid Noise: Limit exposure to loud noises to prevent further damage.
- Ear Protection: Use earplugs or earmuffs when exposed to loud noise, and be cautious when flying or diving.
- Healthy Lifestyle: Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including proper nutrition and hydration, can support overall healing.
- No Ear Drops: Unless prescribed, avoid using over-the-counter ear drops.
- Regular Check-ups: Scheduled visits to the doctor for monitoring and possibly hearing tests.
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