Ear Discharge


Ear discharge is a very common condition which can affect people of all age groups, but primarily it affects the children. Inflammation of the external and middle ear is the cause for ear discharges.

A study has shown, that worldwide, the rate of acute infection of middle ear (otitis media) is 10.85% of which 51% of children under-five is affected.

Types of Ear Discharge


Otitis Externa

Often referred to as “swimmer’s ear”, is caused by repeated exposure to water. It includes symptoms like the discharge of liquid or pus from the ear, along with itchiness in the ear canal, ear pain and temporary hearing loss. Risk of this condition is increased by swimming, sweating and being exposed to humid environments.

Otomycosis

It is a fungal infection that affects the ear of the people who swim frequently, have diabetes or suffers from any severe skin and medical conditions like Eczema. Discharge of fluid is one of the symptoms for this infection, along with pain, itching, inflammation, swelling, redness, flaky skin, hearing problems, feeling of fullness of the ear and ringing in the ear. It is very common in tropical regions.

Otitis Media

It is an ear infection that occurs due to inflammation and infection of the area behind the ear drums or the middle ear. Infants between six and 15 months old are most commonly affected by this condition. Some of the symptoms are an earache, fever, lack of energy, development of a hole in the eardrum and pus discharge from the ear, slight hearing loss since middle ear becomes filled with fluid. Babies might show signs of irritability, diarrhoea, runny nose or coughing, inattentiveness and loss of balance.

 

A young child or baby may also show signs of irritability, diarrhoea, runny nose or coughing, inattentiveness and loss of balance.

Symptoms


Discharge of blood, ear wax, pus or fluid from the ear.

Precautions & Treatments


  • Do not use earbuds, safety pins or hairpins at all to clean ears if suffering from Otitis externa (Swimmer’s ear)
  • Avoid bathing in ponds or lakes to ensure that water does not enter the ears if suffering from Otomycosis (Fungal infection)
  • Best option for relief from Chronic Otitis Media (COM) is through surgical procedures like myringoplasty (Eardrum repair surgery) and a cortical mastoidectomy (Removal of Mastoid air cells without affecting the middle ear).
  • For long lasting relief from issues that might cause a hole in the ear, sometimes nasal surgery (adenotonsillectomy) is recommended.
  • Surgery as an emergency procedure has to be undertaken if diagnosed with the condition Cholestetoma (unsafe chronic otitis media), as it causes ear bones to decay and cause face paralysis. Damage to ear bones can be rectified by a procedure called ossiculoplasty.

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