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Discharge from Ear: Causes and Treatment

A discharge from the ear is a fluid that the ear has and the same has many different characteristics. While earwax is automatically discharged by the ear like a normal bodily function, abnormal fluid in the ear can result from an ear infection that can affect either the inner or middle ear. This condition can also be stated as fluid leaking from the ear.

Let me first tell types of discharges and what makes them different.

  • Normal discharge: earwax or water, it’s light brown, dark brown, or orange-brown
  • Abnormal discharge: cloudy fluid or pus; the cause is an ear infection with drainage from a ruptured eardrum or through a ventilation tube

Types of ear problems and what to do to fix them

Earwax causing ear pain:

  • Ear wax helps protect the lining of the ear and has properties to fight off pathogens and germs
  • If the earwax is removed manually, the ear canals may become itchy
  • Also, avoid using cotton swabs, or Q-tips in the ear; it can push the wax further inside
  • Make an appointment with an expert ENT doctor if the pus is yellow or green

Clear Discharge causing ear disorders:

  • Water can enter the ear canal during a bath, shower, swimming or maybe, a water fight
  • Avoiding the pain and using eardrops without proper diagnosis is not the answer
  • Kids with ventilation tubes may face clear or slightly cloudy fluid when a temporary tube blockage opens up and drains

Ear Exam leads to blood loss:

  • During the diagnosis of ear, sometimes removal of ear wax to see the eardrum is necessary
  • Rarey, it causes a small scratch to the lining of the ear canal which oozes 1 or 2 drops of blood and then clots
  • If it doesn’t heal in a couple of days, it will probably start the bleeding again
  • As a precaution, don’t put anything in the ear canal because as it shouldn’t affect the hearing

Suspected Ear Infection causing ear pain:

  • A tear in eardrum or middle ear will cause drainage of cloudy fluid or pus from the ear canal
  • A pain relief medicine can help you until the visit the best ENT doctor for you
  • Also, make an appointment with ENT doctor if your kid develops any of the symptoms

More about ear discharge and ear problems

In most cases, patients say that during their day, they suddenly feel a liquid, wet, or dripping sensation from the ea. This is most likely the ear discharge aka otorrhea, its nothing but any fluid that comes out of the ear. Earwax is a normal discharge formed by the body in the ear and it helps ensure that dust, pathogens, and bacteria don’t enter the ear canal. The fluids may enter the ear and lead to the perforated eardrum or a ruptured eardrum. So anyone should never ignore ear discharge symptoms, especially in kids.

Common characteristics of ear discharge

If you’re feeling symptoms of ear discharge, it can be anyone or more of them:

  • White, yellowish, or gray discharge
  • Foul-smelling discharge
  • Occasional but intense pain
  • Fever, if due to infection
  • Numbness or tingling sensation

Causes of ears fluid drainage or ear discharge

The listed details may help you understand better about the symptoms of ear problems and also, when do you need to make an appointment and visit the best ENT doctor.

Infections leading to ear discharge

  • Swimmer’s ear: Bacteria from contaminated water cause inflammation and fluid buildup; the discharge can be foul-smelling and yellow or green
  • Cold or flu: A bacterial or viral infection can lead to ear discharge; infectious agents in-ear canal reach from nasal passage or throat
  • Traumatic causes: Traumatic causes can also lead to ear discharge, such as the following
    • Presence of foreign body: Trauma from a push or foreign object into your ears can result in discharge
    • Change in pressure: A sudden increase in pressure may cause the eardrum to rupture and produce a discharge
    • Loud noises: Significantly loud noises can also lead to discharge

Medical causes leading to ear discharge

  • Mastoiditis: The condition is the inflammation of the jaw, which is near the ear; excessive fluids may lead to discharge in this condition
  • Inflamed adenoids: Inflamed adenoids, infection, and discharge are related to discharge from the ear as they all share one nervous system
  • Swimmer’s ear aka Otitis externa: It is an infection which runs from the eardrum to the opening of the ear; it is caused by bacteria, fungus, or a virus into the canal
  • Earwax blockage: The earwax formation is a process to protect the ear from infection, but earwax can build up and cover the eardrum and its not possible to prevent a build-up by washing

Remedies and Treatments

  • Ear drops are prescribed to reduce inflammation and swelling in cases of trauma and infections
  • Paper patch is used to restore normal hearing in cases of excessive discharge due to a perforated eardrum; the same may help keep the eardrum closed while healing
  • Antibiotics in case of a swimmer’s ear as antibiotics can prevent widespread infection
  • A modern surgical procedure to fix the eardrum may be necessary after trauma or infection

Before Goodbye

If you are experiencing ear discharge, you must make an appointment with the ear doctor and visit for treatment. Also, keep the following in mind:

  • Don’t use sharp objects when cleaning your ears
  • Use muffs when riding an airplane
  • Dry your ears well after swimming
  • Avoid smoking as it can induce ear infection

Goodbye

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