There has been a revolution in pillow design over the last 5 years. This is because there has been an hitherto unmet medical need. This hasn’t been a mainstream issue, but it is something which can affect anyone, especially as we get older. And, since the populations of the developed world are aging, this issue is becoming increasingly common in countries such as England and the United States, and as it comes to light, innovative solutions are being sought.
The problem is known as CNH, Chondrodermatitis, or simply put – an ear pressure sore. This condition, which is essentially a bed sore on a person’s ear, typically affects two categories of people. Those that are bedbound / disabled, and the elderly. The reason this condition affects these two categories of people is because CNH is the result of friction and pressure acting against human skin. Over time, friction and pressure, whether from a mattress or a pillow, damages the skin and, ultimately, the underlying tissue. People whom are bedbound spend much more time in contact with the mattress and pillow and therefore are subject to the friction and pressure for much longer than the general population. The elderly, while not spending much more time subjected to these forces, do have less resilient skin. It is unable to repair itself as quickly as a younger person and so the affect is the same. A degradation of the skin and the formation of a pressure sore.
CNH is extremely painful, progressive and won’t resolve itself without intervention. It is therefore necessary to treat it early. The usual treatments are steroid creams and ointments, which can be effective during the day but will rub off overnight. Furthermore, the underlying cause is not being addressed. The pillow is still present and the friction is still working against the ear. Therefore any benefit from the cream is counteracted by the pillow. As the condition worsens, cryotherapy and other such surgeries are recommended to completely remove the pressure sore and allowing a clean start. Surgery is always a tough consideration due to the stress this can put on a patient’s body and mind. And, like the creams, healing will be impaired due to the unresolved nature of the underlying issue. The pillow will continue to exert friction and pressure upon the ear during the crucial two -month healing window.
What is the best way to treat Chondrodermatitis? Well, Since the pillow is the ultimate cause of ear pressure sores, it should also be the solution. But how can you sleep on a pillow without putting pressure on the ear? The answer is by using a special ear pillow with a hole in it. These specially designed pillows have a hole in the centre which allows your head to be comfortably supported whilst also stopping your ear from touching anything. It’s a really simple solution to a difficult problem and it works. Remove the source of friction and pressure and the body will do the rest.