There are a number of reasons why you may feel pain in your ear while sleeping on one side. It could be because you have a ruptured eardrum, or it could be that your temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is causing pain.
It could also be because of an ear foreign body such as a cotton swab, toy piece, button, disk battery or insect stuck in the ear canal. You should visit your doctor to have this removed.
If you do sleep on the painful ear, you should try to keep it elevated as this will help relieve pressure and reduce pain. Alternatively, you can place a warm compress over the infected ear, or you can take pain relievers before bed.
You should also swallow before you go to sleep; this will trigger the muscles that enable the Eustachian tubes to open up and drain, reducing your pain. You should also avoid sleeping on your back, as this puts extra pressure on your ear.
Using a hot water bottle can help to soften the wax that causes ear pain. You can also put a hairdryer on low heat and hold it directly against the affected area for several minutes.
In most cases, the earache should subside on its own. However, if it gets worse, or if you develop any other symptoms such as fever, it is best to see your doctor.
If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact Health24 for further advice.