How To Sleep Comfortably With A Ruptured Eardrum: A Comprehensive Guide

what side should I sleep on with a ruptured eardrum

A ruptured eardrum, also known as a tympanic membrane perforation, can cause discomfort and pain. It is essential to take special care when sleeping to promote healing and minimize discomfort. In this blog post, we will provide a comprehensive guide on what side should I sleep on with a ruptured eardrum. These tips and strategies can help alleviate pain, reduce the risk of further damage, and promote better sleep quality during the healing process.

Seek Medical Attention 

Before implementing any strategies, it is crucial to seek medical attention if you suspect a ruptured eardrum. A healthcare professional can assess the severity of the injury, provide appropriate treatment, and offer specific advice tailored to your condition. Following their guidance is paramount to ensure proper healing and prevent complications.

Sleep In An Elevated Position 

Sleeping with your head slightly elevated can help reduce pressure on the affected ear and alleviate discomfort. Consider using an extra pillow or propping up the head of your bed to create a gentle incline. This position can help minimize pain and prevent any drainage from accumulating in the ear.

Use A Soft Pillow 

Choosing a soft and supportive pillow is crucial when sleeping with a ruptured eardrum. Avoid firm or high-profile pillows that may exert pressure on the ear. Opt for a pillow that allows your head to rest comfortably without causing additional pain or discomfort. Memory foam or feather pillows can provide the necessary cushioning while supporting your head and neck.

Sleep On The Opposite Side 

To minimize discomfort, try sleeping on the side opposite the ruptured eardrum. This position can reduce the pressure on the affected ear and potentially alleviate pain. Placing a pillow between your knees can help support your body and prevent rolling onto the injured side during sleep. Most people often ask should you sleep on the side of a ruptured eardrum.It is advised not to sleep on the side of ruptured eardrum as it can create a high chance of sensitivity in the ear. 

Use Ear Protection 

To safeguard your affected ear while sleeping, consider using ear protection. Soft silicone earplugs or a cotton ball gently inserted into the ear can help reduce exposure to loud noises and protect against foreign particles or water entering the ear canal. However, it is crucial to consult with your healthcare professional before using any ear protection to ensure it is safe for your specific situation.

Manage Pain With Medication 

If you experience pain or discomfort, consult your healthcare professional for appropriate pain relief medication. Over-the-counter pain relievers like acetaminophen or ibuprofen can help alleviate pain and reduce inflammation. Follow the recommended dosage and guidelines provided by your healthcare professional or on the medication packaging.

Maintain A Quiet Sleeping Environment 

Creating a calm and quiet sleeping environment can contribute to better sleep quality. Minimize noise disturbances by using earplugs or a white noise machine. Consider dimming the lights or using blackout curtains to promote a restful atmosphere. Additionally, inform your household members about your condition to ensure they are mindful of keeping noise levels low.

Avoid Sleeping On Stomach 

Sleeping on your stomach can potentially exert pressure on the affected ear, leading to increased discomfort and potentially prolonging the healing process. It is advisable to avoid this sleeping position and opt for sleeping on your back or side instead.

Practice Stress-Reduction Techniques 

Stress and anxiety can disrupt sleep and exacerbate discomfort. Engaging in relaxation techniques before bedtime, such as deep breathing exercises, meditation, or gentle stretching, can help promote a calmer state of mind and enhance sleep quality. Experiment with different relaxation methods to find what works best for you.

Follow Your Doctor’s Instructions 

Always follow the instructions and recommendations provided by your healthcare professional. They will provide personalized advice based on your specific situation and guide you through the healing process. Attend follow-up appointments and communicate any changes or concerns you may have.


A ruptured eardrum can be a painful and uncomfortable condition, particularly when trying to sleep. By implementing the strategies outlined in this comprehensive guide, you can promote healing, minimize discomfort, and improve your sleep quality during this recovery period. Remember to consult with a healthcare professional for accurate diagnosis, treatment, and personalized advice. With proper care and attention, you can create a sleep environment that supports your healing process and ensures a more comfortable sleep experience.

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