What Side Should I Sleep on with A Ruptured Eardrum

By Last Updated: October 27th, 2022Categories: Daily

Having a ruptured eardrum is definitely one of the worst things that could happen to you. It’s painful, uncomfortable, and it could damage your hearing permanently. It’s usually caused by intense poking deep into the ear using a cotton bud. Other culprits are ear infections and injuries.

Besides struggling with a ruptured eardrum, you’d also have a hard time figuring out a more comfortable position whenever you sleep at night. Yes! Many are asking: What side should I sleep on with a ruptured eardrum?

Well, we’re here to help you settle things on that once and for all. Below, we will tell you the best sleeping position if you have a ruptured eardrum, and the things you need to do in the recovery process. So, read on and learn a thing or two!

Part 1: What Side Should I Sleep on with A Ruptured Eardrum

The number one rule when it comes to sleeping with a ruptured eardrum is to get the pressure away from the injured ear as much as possible. You shouldn’t sleep on it.If you only have one ruptured eardrum, we highly recommend that you sleep on the opposite side. You should also be mindful in case you accidentally shift your sleeping position. You can put extra large pillows around you that act as a fence to stop you from shifting during sleep.

Sleeping Position

In cases where both of your eardrums are ruptured, we advise that you sleep on your back and slightly raise your head with extra pillows. But don’t make it too high as it could injure your neck and head. Just find a sweet spot where you can rest your head comfortably. That way, neither of the ears won’t feel any pressure.

Why is Sleeping Position Important When You Have a Ruptured Eardrum

You sleep for at least 8 hours and if you put too much pressure on your injured ear, it can cause clogging of liquid. This might lead to more serious problems like infection or hearing loss. And if you sleep on the right side, you can have a fast, smooth-sailing recovery.

Part 2: Are There Other Ways to Take Care of A Ruptured Eardrum

Yes! Besides a comfortable sleeping position, there are other ways you can help hasten the recovery process.

Keep the Injured Ear Dry

It’s important that you keep it dry because bacteria that could lead to further infection can thrive in wet and dark places like the inner ear. At the same time, water may also contain bacteria that could get into the ears easily, especially when you are taking a shower or a swim in the pool or sea.

Keeping Ear Dry

Only take a bath when your doctor says you’re good to go. Otherwise, avoid any water that could potentially get into the ear canal. However, if you really need to wash your hair, you can use a vaseline-coated cotton ball and plug it into your injured ear to keep out water.

And if by any chance the water gets inside your ear, just tilt your head to the opposite side to drain it and tap a cotton ball to absorb the remaining water.

Avoid Inserting Q-tips or Anything into the Ear

When your eardrum is ruptured, you can’t help but check it and try scratching your ear or inserting your finger. You may also try poking your ears with q-tips. All of these are a big NO.

Also, do not self-medicate with herbal remedies that you insert or drop into the ear canal, both solid or liquid. They could cause more harm to your eardrums.

Take Pain Relievers

If your ruptured eardrum is making you very uncomfortable and sleepless because of the pain, it would be wise to take over-the-counter pain relievers.

You can get some at your local drugstore. If you’re unsure which pain reliever to buy, you may try naproxen (Aleve), acetaminophen (Tylenol), or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), or ask the pharmacist’s opinion which one is the best for you.

Be Religious with Your Medication

Sometimes, your ruptured eardrum gets infected and you’d get prescribed antibiotics to fight the bacteria. With that, you have to follow your doctor’s instructions on how many times you need to take the medication and when you should take it.

Take Medicine

It’s important that you religiously follow the instructions. As much as possible, don’t forget to take antibiotics. Finish taking them as intended. This is because some bacteria are quite resistant to such medication. It takes you to complete the doses you need in order to kill them. And if you’ve been skipping your antibiotics, it’s going to be more difficult to kill the bacteria as they become more resistant.

Let Your Ruptured Eardrum Heal

Most cases of ruptured eardrums heal on their own after a few weeks, especially when there’s no infection. You just need to let it be and protect it from anything that could potentially cause more damage like wearing earphones and whatnot.

Usually, it takes a few weeks until the ruptured eardrum is completely healed. However, some cases take months depending on the severity of injury.


It’s important that you take good care of your ears. They help you hear well, enjoy music, and keep yourself from danger. Hearing loss is the last thing you’d wish for.

That’s why if you ever have a ruptured eardrum, you should know how to handle it and keep it safe from further damage. And one way of doing this is that when you know what side you should sleep on.


When your ruptured eardrum doesn’t heal, you may undergo a surgical procedure called Tympanoplasty. This treats the ruptured eardrum through grafting and using your own tissue to close the perforation in the eardrum.

No. Physicians don’t record the use of Q-tips or cotton swabs for cleaning the ear canal. They’re dangerous and can only push the dirt further into the inner ear. Not to mention, they can rupture your eardrum if used the wrong way.