Ear discharge causes ear irritation. The drainage can be watery, bloody, or thick and white, like pus. Depending on the cause of discharge, people may have ear pain, fever, itching, vertigo, ringing in the ear (tinnitus), and/or hearing loss. Symptoms range from sudden and severe to gradually developing and mild. Usually, the fluid or solid coming out of your ear is just ear wax and is normal. However, it can be a sign of a disease or injury to your ear, so if it does not clear up after a few days, it can be checked with your doctor.
A discharge from the ear, also known as otorrhea, usually just gets rid of the ear wax from the body, the oil and solid material you produce goes into your ears to prevent dust and bacteria from naturally occurring. But sometimes viscous fluid is formed in the middle ear, behind the eardrum. This mucus can cause ear infections and hearing loss and is very common in children.
Causes of Ear Discharge
Almost all children will, at some point, experience a buildup of fluid behind the eardrum. This is known as the flow of an ear. There may be no signs of infection, such as a fever, but the child may rub his ear or have some problems with hearing. Your doctor can see the fluid by looking into the ear with a special device.
The ear can swell and the middle ear can swell and sometimes the fluid gets infected. This is called otitis media. The infection is often caused by the virus and ear pain and pain, fever, and irritability in children. Sometimes fluid buildup lasts longer and the fluid becomes thick and viscous, reducing hearing power which can make it difficult for children to learn. This is called glue ear.
Overall, the most common causes of ear discharge are
- Acute (sudden and severe) middle ear infection (otitis media) with aural perforation (perforation)
- Chronic otitis media (with perforation of the eardrum, cholesteatoma or both)
- External ear infection (otitis externa)
In some people with otitis media (usually children), the eardrum breaks down, releasing the infected material collected behind the eardrum. The hole in the eardrum almost always fills, but sometimes a small hole remains. A perforation can also occur from an injury or surgery to the mastoid. When an orifice is present, people are at risk of chronic middle ear infection, which can lead to ear discharge.
Causes of severe, but rare, ear discharge include
- Ear canal cancer
- Skull base fracture
- Controlling external otitis
- Cholesteatoma (a non-developed growth of white skin like material in the middle ear)
The ear canal passes through the base of the skull. If a skull fracture (from a severe head injury), covers that part of the skull, then blood or cerebrospinal fluid may leak from the ear.
Necrotizing or malignant, external otitis is a particularly severe form of external ear infection that usually occurs only in people with diabetes or who have a compromised immune system (due to HIV infection or chemotherapy for cancer).
Some people with chronic otitis media develop a non-cancerous (benign) growth of skin cells in the middle ear (cholesteatoma) that can cause discharge. Although cholesteatoma is non-cancerous, it can cause significant damage to the ear and surrounding structures. In severe cases, a cholesteatoma may cause deafness, facial weakness or paralysis, and complications with the brain such as an abscess and other infections.
Treatment & Prevention
Treatment for ear discharge is directed at the cause. Those who have a large perforation of the eardrum are advised to keep water out of the ear. People can remove water from the ear while bathing or washing their hair by coating a cotton ball with petroleum jelly or placing it on the opening of the ear canal.
Doctors can also remove the plugs from the silicone and place them in the canal. Such plugs are carefully shaped and shaped so that they do not enter deep into the ear canal and cannot be removed. People who have a small opening, such as a ventilation tube, should ask a doctor if they need to keep water from the ear. A cholesteatoma is treated surgically.
Most ear infections are caused by a virus, so stay away from people who are sick and make sure you and your child are up to date with vaccinations.
Breastfeeding reduces the incidence of ear infections in infants. If you are breastfeeding, try running milk into your baby’s ear, so that the baby can be fed directly instead of their back.
Do not put anything in your ears, including cotton buds, pencils, or any other hard objects. Use earplugs or earmuffs to protect your ears from loud sounds.
To prevent a swimmer’s ear, dry your ears after swimming or shower and wear earplugs if you swim often.
Ear discharge can occur for many reasons, including an ear infection, an earwax buildup, or an injury. The main cause is ear infection. But sometimes viscous fluid is formed in the middle ear, behind the eardrum. This mucus can cause ear infections and hearing loss, and is very common in children. Treatment for ear discharge is directed at the cause. Those who have a large perforation of the eardrum are advised to keep water out of the ear