Discharge or drainage from the ear, medically known as otorrhea, can be a symptom of various underlying causes and related conditions
Common Causes of Discharge or Drainage from the Ear
Otitis Media: Middle ear infections can lead to the buildup of fluid and pus, resulting in ear discharge, often accompanied by ear pain.
Swimmer’s Ear (Otitis Externa): Infections of the ear canal caused by water exposure or skin conditions can result in discharge, itching, and discomfort.
Earwax Buildup: Excessive earwax can become impacted and lead to drainage from the ear.
Ruptured Eardrum: A tear or hole in the eardrum, often due to infections or trauma, can cause ear discharge and hearing loss.
Cholesteatoma: An abnormal skin growth in the middle ear can produce foul-smelling ear discharge and may lead to complications if not treated.
Ear Tubes: Tubes inserted into the eardrums to treat recurrent ear infections can sometimes cause temporary discharge as they facilitate fluid drainage.
Foreign Body: Insertion of foreign objects into the ear can damage the ear canal and cause discharge.
Allergies: Allergic reactions or skin conditions affecting the ear can result in itching and discharge.
Mastoiditis: Infection of the mastoid bone, located behind the ear, can cause ear discharge along with pain and swelling.
Tumor or Growth: Benign or malignant growths in the ear can produce ear discharge and may require medical intervention.
Proper evaluation of ear discharge often involves a medical history, ear examination, and sometimes imaging studies or cultures to identify the underlying cause. Clemenceau Medical Center Hospital offers specialized ear, nose, and throat (ENT) care to diagnose and manage the specific condition causing ear discharge, ensuring appropriate treatment and care for patients. Early diagnosis is essential to address any underlying medical conditions and prevent complications.