Are you finding it hard to fall asleep or stay asleep at night because of an ear infection? Infections in the ears can be incredibly uncomfortable, challenging a good night’s rest.
Medical treatment is crucial, especially for severe ear infections or recurring ones. However, you can also do some things at home to help ease your symptoms and promote better sleep, including sleeping upright, taking painkillers, sipping and swallowing, and changing positions.
So, keep reading to uncover the secrets to achieving a peaceful slumber with these top-notch tips and tricks.
How to Sleep With Ear Infection: 4 Easy and Proven Ways
An ear infection can be a painful experience, especially at night when trying to get some restful sleep. Still, there are ways to sleep with ear infections that can alleviate symptoms and promote a better night’s sleep.
Here are some tips for sleeping with an ear infection:
#1. Upright Sleeping or Elevation
Sleeping upright or using an elevated position can be beneficial in relieving ear infection symptoms. This is because the position allows for easier drainage of fluid and thus reduces pressure and pain in the middle ear.
Prop yourself up with pillows or use a reclining sofa or armchair to maintain an upright position. It is worth noting that this position also promotes successful ear drainage and can significantly improve symptoms, leading to better sleep.
#2. The Use of Painkillers
Pain relief medication can be a useful aid in relieving ear infection symptoms and improving sleep. You can try over-the-counter pain relievers like codeine phosphate as well as other analgesics. However, it is essential to consider the adult dosage and age limit before taking any over-the-counter medications.
It is not advisable to administer these drugs to children under two years old without a doctor’s consultation. People with ongoing health conditions should also consult a doctor before taking painkillers for ear irritation.
#3. Sip and Swallow
Sipping water before bedtime can be an effective way to manage ear infection symptoms and improve sleep. Additionally, practicing swallowing exercises can also help the Eustachian tubes open and drain naturally, which can reduce pain in the ear.
Swallowing motion can stimulate the opening of the Eustachian tubes and promote better drainage.
#4. Switching Positions
Lying on the back can worsen ear infection pain by putting pressure on the ear and disrupting sleep quality. Changing sleeping positions can help relieve the pressure and make sleeping with an ear infection more comfortable.
Sleeping upright or on the healthy ear’s side are good options. Nevertheless, sleep on the affected ear should be avoided to avoid increasing pressure and pain.
Are Compresses Helpful For Ear Infections During Sleep?
Compresses are indeed helpful for ear infections while sleeping, as they provide an efficient pain relief source and help reduce congestion in the ear canals. Applying heat compression therapy, using a heating pad, rice sock, or hot water bag with warm water, can be particularly effective in soothing ear pain.
Additionally, a warm cloth soaked in warm water in a plastic bag or the steam produced by humidifiers, showers, or baths is also good. These methods help to expand and relax airways, thus aiding in reducing ear pressure.
Remember, the duration of heat compression therapy should last no more than 20-30 seconds per application, with a repetition of the process for relief. Moreover, to ensure safety, it is advisable to perform this under the guidance of a doctor and avoid introducing water into the ear during the procedure.
Therefore, the utilization of compresses during sleep can undoubtedly bring relief and comfort to those with ear infections, thanks to its ability to alleviate pain and reduce congestion.
Which Side Should You Lie on with an Ear Infection?
In the case of an ear infection, positioning oneself in a particular manner during sleep can help reduce the pain caused by the infection. Resting with your head on two or more pillows is recommended, elevating the affected ear higher than the rest of your body.
This assists in the prompt drainage of fluids that may have accumulated in the ear, facilitating faster healing. If the left ear is the affected area, sleeping on your right side is preferable, which places the left ear at a higher elevation than the body’s rest.
By doing this, you’ll be able to regulate the pressure in your ear, thereby reducing the pain and discomfort caused by the infection.
Approximately How Long Does An Ear Infection Last?
An ear infection typically lasts for up to 3-5 days, with some cases lasting up to seven days. However, individuals with a high fever or who do not feel well enough to resume normal activities should stay home and avoid contact with others until symptoms subside.
It is important to note that seeking medical attention is advised if symptoms persist or worsen. Prompt treatment can prevent complications and serious infections from developing. Depending on the severity of the infection, pain relievers, antibiotics, and decongestants may be prescribed for ear infections.
What Does a Severe Ear Infection Feel Like?
Severe ear infections can be a painful and distressing experience. It typically presents with an earache, which can either be sharp and sudden or a dull, continuous pain. In some cases, you may also feel a fullness in the affected ear.
Another common symptom of a severe ear infection is the sudden onset of sharp stabbing pain, often followed by warm drainage from the ear canal.
Struggling to block out the throbbing pain of an ear infection during bedtime can be a nightmarish experience. Doing your best to get comfortable, only for any position you take up resulting in worse agony, it’s enough to make anyone feel hopeless about ever getting some quality rest again.
A severe ear infection can cause major issues if left untreated. So don’t delay – visit your doctor right away and get the relief you need.
Don’t Let Ear Infections Stand Between You and Sleep
Struggling with an ear infection can make it hard to get a good night’s rest, but as we know, there are steps you can take that may help ease the discomfort and ensure your body gets all the sleep it needs.
Those sleepless nights might become well-rested dreams with some small changes to your routine combined with natural remedies.
Whether changing your sleep position, using warm compresses, or trying out essential oils, there are many ways to promote better sleep and alleviate the discomfort of an ear infection. So, next time you’re struggling to drift off with an earache, try these tips and wake up feeling rested and rejuvenated.