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Ask Dr. D. Love Your Own Question
Dr. D. Love
Dr. D. Love, Doctor
Category: Neurology
Satisfied Customers: 18757
Experience:  Family Physician for 10 years; Hospital Medical Director for 10 years.
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I often wake up and my ear is asleep with the same sensation

Customer Question

I often wake up and my ear is asleep with the same sensation as if when your hand, arm or leg goes asleep. I would assume it is because of circulation being cut off but it actually hurts more for the burning needle feeling to go away. Every time I ask a medical professional about it they say they have never heard of a persons ear falling asleep. Is this something to be concerned with or just chalk it up as sleeping on it wrong. I also do not have large ears but normal size ears.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Neurology
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 2 years ago.
Hello from JustAnswer.
No, this is not something to be concerned about. Your doctor is correct that circulation to the external ear is generally not a concern, but even if circulation to the ear is affected, this is not the pattern of symptoms that what would be expected. If there were a circulation issue to the ear, it would not get worse while asleep.
It is important to note that the common cause of a leg going to sleep is from pressure applied to a nerve, rather than poor circulation. Having these symptoms when you wake up would be an issue of pressure on a nerve, rather than poor circulation.
You can try sleeping in a different position, but that is hard to do, since most people tend to have a default position and will move into that position once partly asleep. It would be more likely to be effective to try a different pillow, particularly different in construction or size.
If I can provide any clarification, please let me know.