Side Sleepers: Does Your Ear Against the Pillow Make Your Tinnitus Louder?

Discussion in 'Support' started by Mathew Gould, Jan 16, 2020.

    1. Mathew Gould

      Mathew Gould Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      6/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Neck/Jaw misalignment
      When I sleep on my side with my left ear against the pillow my tinnitus gets louder.

      Does this happen to anyone else?

      I just purchased (3) different pillows on Amazon with a hole in them to test them out and keep the best one. Does anyone think that this hole in the pillow would make my tinnitus better at night (because the ear isn't against the pillow), and could it make my tinnitus better during the day, too?
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    2. MRItechssuck
      Disappointed

      MRItechssuck Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      Mild 2000-2018 sev 10/17/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud noise, MRI
      This may have to do with the pillow preventing outside sounds from not being heard as well ....less outside sounds, therefore you hear your internal sounds better.
       
      • Agree Agree x 4
    3. Hotspur2931

      Hotspur2931 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Cold/flu
      Yeah I think this is a common problem. Have you tried pillow speakers? That's the obvious solution.

      Weirdly, I used pillow speakers for a couple of weeks and now I'm able to sleep on my side no problem, even without them. I still play rain noises on a sound machine that just stands on a desk in my room. My non-pillow ear listens to the rain sounds and for some reason my pillow-ear (which incidentally is usually my worse tinnitus ear) seems to be quite happy as soon as I get sleepy. Admittedly the rain sounds I play are still fairly loud.

      It's taken me a long while to get to this place so don't beat yourself up about it! Definitely get some pillow speakers though. It will do you a world of good to be able to sleep comfortably in your usual position.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    4. Violetdusk

      Violetdusk Member

      Location:
      Wales, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      September 2005
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      2005 Very loud rock concert. 2018 Worsened considerably.
      Yes, same for me. I have very loud tinnitus and pretty bad hyperacusis so I cannot use a pillow speaker, so my nights are restless toss and turn kind of nights. I do take medicine to sleep, but lately since the T increase it is not working well. Also because of hyperacusis I now wake at slight noises when I didn't before. If you don't have hyperacusis you could try a pillow speaker.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
      • Hug Hug x 1
    5. LukeYoung
      Mooooody

      LukeYoung Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/16
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      A loud Concert - Noise Exposure
      I actually get a different sound when my ear is on the mattress. It’s like a weird humming sound.
       
    6. Michael B
      Supportive

      Michael B Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Southern CA
      Tinnitus Since:
      2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Earbuds
      I'm a side sleeper and have been using a pillow speaker for years. It's gotten me through many, many rough nights and I don't what I would have done without it. I used to advocate its use but now I'm not all that sure pillow speakers are any safer to use than headphones are to wear.
       
    7. Jeebs
      Depressed

      Jeebs Member

      Location:
      Germany
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise Induced
      My T used to get louder on a pillow because of the obvious effect that dampening will increase the sensitivity of the ears and thus the tinnitus. Since last Friday this is only the case for my left ear. On my right ear I can now sleep better, it even gets quieter that way. But then again, my right ear reacts really violently to sound exposure now. This is all a weird roller coaster.
       
    8. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Mathew Gould

      Mathew Gould Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      6/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Neck/Jaw misalignment
      I have reactive tinnitus so I don't want sound in my life...

      My question was more in the effect that if you get a pillow with a hole in it and your tinnitus isn't as active at night due to not being compressed against the pillow will your tinnitus be better during the day?
       
    9. Dag

      Dag Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      I've similar issues as you, Mathew.

      My T is in the left ear and its usually mild, and its reactive to any sound. It sounds as water flowing, more or less. Any external sound increses my T.

      Also sleeping on my left ear wakes me up suddenly in the night because of a constant and louder tone. This problem during nights it's getting worse lately so I'm thinking in use a pillow I don't use and make a hole with a scissors in it.

      I can't sleep on my back or on my stomach, so sleeping all night on the same side is impposible and unhealthy.

      Regards.
       
    10. oceanofsound26
      Sleepy

      oceanofsound26 Member

      Location:
      Washington State, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      TMJ, Neck Issues, and Accompanying Postural Deviations.
      I have gone thru six different pillows. My only recommendations -

      https://www.amazon.com/Natures-Guest-Pillow-Fully-Design-Helps-Health-Hypoallergenic/dp/B01IWM6056/ref=sr_1_11?keywords=cervical+neck+pillow&qid=1579485797&s=hpc&sr=1-11

      https://infinitemoon.com/product/the-curve/ - This is the pillow I use every night now for side sleeping. I use the Kapok Silk/Latex Fill for mine. This pillow is expensive though. Used the above one before I found this one.

      If your tinnitus get louder when sleeping on your side, check your sleeping posture. I keep a pillow between my knees, sleep with a lumbar support pillow, and am careful not to rotate my pelvis relative to my thorax and neck to keep my spine aligned. Also, set the pillow further away from the shoulder you are sleeping on to set your head above your shoulders where it belongs to prevent sleeping with your neck in a forward flexed position which can worsen tinnitus a few different ways (depending on its cause). Not sure what a pillow speaker is, but I used these - https://www.amazon.com/Bluetooth-He...sprefix=sleep+headphon,electronics,228&sr=1-3 - to listen to ocean sounds before bed to calm down. There are a less expensive option but several similar things exist; may be of some utility.
       
    11. Yuuls
      Dreaming

      Yuuls Member

      Location:
      California
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Happens for me as well. I have tinnitus in both ears, so I just have to pick whichever ear is feeling better that night to sleep on. Sometimes I’ll put my arm under my head and sleep on that so there’s at least a little bit of room for sound to go through.

      Usually lying on my “good ear” of the night results in the tinnitus increasing, so it ends up with me just flipping back and forth until I fall asleep.
       
    12. Shelbylynn

      Shelbylynn Member

      Location:
      California
      Tinnitus Since:
      1/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Concert
      Yes mine does get louder. Especially in my ear that’s the worst. Smart idea about the pillow with a hole. I might try that!
       

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