Causes of Ear Discharge (Secretion, Fluid)

Blood, fluid and other secretions from the ear is known as otorrhea or commonly referred to as ear discharge. In otorrhea, the discharge exits through the ear and should not be confused with natural ear wax (cerumen) that occurs within the ear canal. Ear discharge should not be ignored, especially if there is  constant secretions of blood, discharges stained with blood or clear, thin or sticky fluid that may be cerebrospinal fluid (CSF).

Types of Ear Discharge

There are different types of ear discharge that can often be identified by the color, viscosity (fluid ‘thickness’) and odor. Broadly, ear discharge could be characterized as serous discharge that is clear and thin which may be the tissue fluid, bloody discharge or purulent discharge due to infection, which may vary from yellow to brown.

  • Foul smelling discharge from the ear is usually a sign of infection or cholesteatoma. Refer to Smelly Ear.
  • Yellow or brown fluid is also a sign of infection and in persistent infections, the discharge may be stained with blood and is usually thick and sticky. In acute infections, the ear secretion may appear white.
  • Bloody discharge, especially of ‘fresh’ blood, indicates a rupture of microvessels of the middle or inner ear or more serious causes of bleeding within the cranial cavity.
  • Clear discharge, sometimes referred to as watery ear discharge, may be an indication of tissue swelling or more seriously, cerebrospinal fluid which is the fluid that surrounds the brain in the cranial cavity.

Signs and Symptoms associated with Ear Discharge

Ear discharge may occur without any signs or symptoms, however, most causes of ear secretions will also result in symptoms due to pathology of the affected area.

Causes of Ear Discharge

The most common causes of a ear discharge is due to an infection of the outer or middle ear although otorrhea is also present in severe head trauma.

Acute Otitis Media

Acute otitis media where a perforation of the ear drum (tympanic membrane) is present may result in ear discharge. Severe pain of the ear usually occurs due to swelling and pressure caused by the purulent discharge. The pain usually precedes the discharge and may be accompanied by other symptoms like a sore throat, red eyes (conjunctivitis), fever, diminished hearing and at times, jaw pain.

Children with acute otitis media also present with restlessness, irritability, loss of appetite and may be seen constantly interfering with the ear. Recurrent bouts of acute otitis media should be investigated and appropriate long term treatment and preventative measures should be implemented.

Treatment

  • Antibiotics may be necessary for bacterial infections, which is the most common cause of infection in acute otitis media.
  • Anti-inflammatory drugs will reduce any pain and swelling and corticosteroids may be necessary in severe cases of swelling which is not resolving with anti-inflammatory drugs.

Chronic Otitis Media

Chronic otitis media may result in a persistent ear discharge and some of the other symptoms of an acute otitis media may not be present. Usually the discharge is yellow to brown and has a foul odor and can affect hearing and balance or may be reported as dizziness. Chronic otitis media is also called ‘glue ear’ due to the thick, sticky discharge.

Treatment

  • Antibiotics may be necessary for long standing bacterial infections.
  • Corticosteroids may be necessary to reduce swelling and secretions.
  • Grommets may be inserted and this may also be necessary in children experiencing recurrent bouts of acute otitis media.

Cholesteatoma

A cholesteatoma is when a keratin mass occurs in the middle ear. It can block the eustachian tube, damage surrounding tissues and increase the risk of chronic otitis media. Retraction (not perforation) of the ear drum allows the discharge to empty through the ear canal. A chronic, offensive smelling ear discharge that is scanty may be a sign of a cholesteatoma. Initially it may be painless pain can set it as the condition progresses.

Treatment

  • Surgery is usually necessary.

Severe Head Injury

Head trauma, especially in cases of  hard falls, severe assault or motor vehicle accidents, may result in otorrhea. This may be seen as a clear fluid usually due to a CSF leak, or blood stained fluid or in severe cases, profuse bleeding.

Treatment

  • Severe head trauma requires immediate medical treatment and should be treated as a medical emergency especially if there is a concurrent discharge of blood or fluid from the nose (nosebleed).
  • A CT scan is necessary and the attending physician will decide on the appropriate treatment based on the findings.

Otitis Externa

Otitis externa is an inflammation of the external ear (pinna) and ear canal caused by infection or an allergic response. The most common symptoms include pain, itchy and swollen ear canal. Otitis externa due to infections is also known as swimmer’s ear and is common during the summer ‘swimming’ season.

Treatment

  • Antibiotics is required for bacterial infections. A viral or fungal infection causing otitis is less common but appropriate treatment should be implemented if necessary.
  • Antihistamines are usually required in otitis externa due to allergies.
  • Corticosteroids ear drops may be used to reduce swelling and itching of the ear canal in severe cases, provided that the ear drum is not perforated.

Other less common causes of chronic ear discharge include :

  • Cancer of the ear canal or tumour in the middle ear.
  • Mastoiditis which is an infection of the mastoid process of the skull which is located behind the external ear. This infection may occur due to otitis media where the infection spreads to the mastoid process. It may be seen as a swelling behind the ear or reported as pain behind the ear.
  • Foreign body in the ear usually occurs in children inserting objects in the ear. The object causes swelling of the ear canal and bacterial infections may occur further down the canal leading to foul smelling discharges.
  • Necrotizing otitis externa is a complication of otitis externa that is rare. The infection spreads to the bones of the skull and chronic severe pain is usually present. This condition usually occurs in immunocompromised or diabetic patients.
  • Wegener’s granulomatosis is a rare condition that affects the blood vessels of the respiratory passages, ears and less commonly, other areas of the body.

References

1. Acute Otitis Media. National Guideline Clearinghouse

2. Swimmer’s Ear. Mayo Clinic

3. Mastoiditis. Medline

4. Necrotizing (Malignant) External Otitis. American Academy of Family Physicians

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  • krutoi

    HI,
    what is the cause of clear liquid drainage in adult, with no prior head trauma, fluind is clear oddorless, the is no pain associated twith discharge, pt c/o itching and feeling of fluid leak form the iear. the overall internal exam unremarcable. thanks

  • Dr. Chris

    Hi Krutoi

    It could be due to a perforation of the eardrum with or without an infection but this should have been picked up by your doctor. The itching may be an indication of a fungal infection of the canal which often causes itching and a watery discharge which is sometimes described as “water in the ears”. However this should not be “leaking” or “dripping” out but rather would be a slight amount of moisture. CSF should always be ruled even if there is no head trauma if the fluid is “dripping”.

  • Joel Colley

    ..and what is the procedure to r/o a painless CSF leak, esp. when the pt. only notices the clear fluid when reclining?

  • Dr. Chris

    Joel Colley

    This should be discussed with your doctor. We do not provide information for self-diagnosis. Your doctor will first have to confirm the presence of CSF (double ring sign, dextrose test, beta2-transferrin – your doctor knows what this means) and refer you to a neurosurgeon for further investigation and appropriate treatment. A perforation of the ear drum MAY also be detected upon otoscopic investigation in the case of CSF otorrhea.

    Please note that the articles on this website are intended to serve as a guide for the general public. All writers are limited by the editorial guidelines as to what they can and cannot answer to prevent readers from attempting to self-diagnose or undertake any changes to their therapy without their doctor’s supervision. This site is not intended to serve as a resource for medical students or practitioners.

  • Diane Lynten

    Hello,

    What is the cause of a yellowish, foul smelling liquid draining from the ear, in an adult; there’s no pain associated with the discharge or an itching feeling or a head trauma.

  • Sabrina Smith

    My 3.5 year old daughter has been complaining of an ear infection for several days but I honestly didn’t think much of it. She’s had tubes for over 2 years and hasn’t had an infection since they were put in. Today she really started crying so my husband and I decided we’d take her first thing in the morning since she was obviously in pain. This evening I noticed that her ear was draining a brownish fluid that has a distinct order. What could this be? With all the infections she had before her tubes, she never had any kind of fluid drainage. She has no fever…

    Thank you in advance.

  • Sabrina Smith

    I’m sorry. I meant to type that the drainage has a distinct odor.

  • Dr. Chris

    Hi Diane

    It is always a concern if this is coming from the middle ear as it can affect hearing. Any discharge that is coming out of the ear indicates a rupture of the ear drum if it stems from the middle ear.This could be glue ear so do not get fooled by the lack of pain or itching. An infection may still be a possibility and this needs to be excluded. You should see an ENT.

    Small abscesses or even infected pimples may occur in the ear canal and drain out. Fungal infections within the ear do result in a a water like liquid that may have a foul odor. This too needs to be attended to by a doctor to prevent any spread of infection.

  • Dr. Chris

    Hi Sabrina

    It could very well be an infection despite the absence of a fever. It is common in young children of your daughter’s age. The tube (grommets) were put in quite a while back and the eardrum would have ejected it by now. Discharge with an offensive odor coupled with pain if often related to an infection.

    However, not all ear discharge is related to an infection. Nevertheless the ear has to be examined by your doctor. A consultation with an otolaryngologist (ENT specialist) may be necessary as well.

  • kastogner

    I have an eight month old who presented with lethargy, low grade fever (100.2), reddish swollen right eye, and a runny nose. This all transpired approximately 36hrs after his arrival back home via airplane from OK. After seeing these symptoms we gave him some acetamenophen PO and put him to bed. The next morning my wife found him lying in bed as usual, but this time with a foul smelling yellowish sticky discharge comming from his ear. It had obviously drained quite a bit because it was also on his face and bed. I have seen our MD but would like a second opinion on the whole “wait and watch”. I do not want any hearing loss or worse as would any parent. He is still very active after finding the discharge. The eye is no longer red and the nose is no longer runny. He did oddly enough sleep for 12.5 hrs last night he has never even slept 8 without at least waking up once. What are you thoughts on this matter. ENT now or should I wait?

  • Dr. Chris

    Hi Kastogner

    The wait and watch approach is fine if your doctor prescribed a course of antibiotics, even if it was as a precautionary measure. Antibiotic use in the first year of life is best avoided but if the case is as you describe it, then it may be better to be cautious and use it nevertheless. The infection may very well be viral in origin but the possibility of a secondary bacterial infection and the presence of a discharge is worrisome. Seek a second opinion from another GP if you are concerned and cannot see an ENT immediately.

    Children are more prone to ENT infections. I would say do not wait. If you have the option, see an ENT immediately if possible even if your child seems to be getting better. Given the age and possibility of complications especially in this age group, it is better to be cautious, even if it ends up being a wasted trip. However, speak to your GP first and ask him/her for a referral to an ENT who they work with.

  • tasha123

    Hi My son woke up with an ear infection on sunday night i did take him to the walk in on monday and recieved medication for it. Wednesday i noticed darkish almost bright blood discharge coming from his ear It is now Thursday and the discharge is a Bright blood brighter then the day before is this normal or should i take him back to the clinc

  • Dr. Chris

    Hi Tasha123

    You should take your son back to the doctor. At this point, there should not be any “fresh” blood unless your son is interfering with his ear or the infection is not resolving. Speak to the doctor.

  • W Heming

    I have been having persistent ear discharge for a week. My hearing has been not right for over two years. I’ve seen a doctor and an ENT about this condition and have been using Fluticasone Proplonate at night as per my doctor for three months. The discharge is clear and has no smell. I can hear it inside my ear when I move my head in certain ways. A slight amount of moisture sometimes comes out of my right ear at night, with a kind of pop noise in my ear, when I am sleeping on my right side. My doctor said the eardrum was drawn in and swollen but could not see any hole. I have noticed that I can not hear as well on the right side and a sensation being clogged or stuffed up. What to do?

  • KarenH

    I use soft foam earplugs and this morning the right one had a bloody stain and there was a small amount of blood in the outer canal. I have occasional vertigo diagnosed as imbalance of fluid in inner year and is controlled with daily low dose Triamterene. My hearing is excellent, however I do have “noise” in my ears, like a rushing sound. What could be the cause of the blood leakage?

  • Dr. Chris

    Hi W.Heming

    There may be inflammation in the middle ear that may account for the popping noise and so on but for fluid to be coming out, then the eardrum would have been perforated. It is possible that there is more one condition present here. A cholesteatoma does cause a chronic but smelly ear discharge and it occurs in the middle ear. The eardrum would not be perforated by a slight retraction allows the discharge to exit the middle ear.

    You may have otitis externa and it is most likely due to a fungal infection. Read more on Ear Problems. A fungal infection would result in a clear discharge which has little or no smell. Packing the ear with steroids applied on a cotton wool offers relief in the short term.

    It is difficult to tell you what to do without knowing the exact problem. You should see your ENT again or consult with another ENT if you feel that you need a second opinion.

  • Dr. Chris

    Hi KarenH

    Just the presence of blood (without focusing on your other ear related symptoms) may be a sign of otitis externa. This is possibly related to the regular use of earplugs and could be further complicated by an infection. Your doctor will have to examine the area and make a diagnosis.

    Considering your other symptoms, it may also be related to more serious causes of the inner and middle ear. I would advise that you see an ENT (otolaryngologist) as soon as you can. You can get more information on your various symptoms in this article on Ear Problems.

  • Singh

    Hi,
    I am an adult and I have been having a bright Green Discharge coming from my left ear. Sometimes it is slightly bloody but most of the time it is green.
    I have experienced pain, hearing loss, itchiness, swelling around the bottom of my hear (where it meets the jaw), and headaches.
    I have been taking advil for the swelling and pain and it does not help.
    This has been happening for two plus months now.
    Is there a home remedy that can be done or anything else?
    Thank you for your help
    -Singh

  • Dr. Chris

    Hi Singh

    It could be a chronic infection and this would require antibiotics, antifungals etc depending on the causative pathogen. You should not leave it for so long as the condition may be progressing and may be reaching a point where little can be done to save your hearing and so on. It may also be a cholesteatoma (read above) or even a tumor. Don’t be looking for home remedies at this point. You need to see a doctor, preferably an ENT specialist (ear-nose-throat/otolaryngologist) IMMEDIATELY.

  • F.Rico

    Could you give me an idea on what I might be experiencing?

    This has been going on for a few months now.
    I get light headed frequently, specially when driving. Don’t think I get vertigo, maybe a little dizzy. A few times when I became very light headed and dizzy my arms started to tingle. Other times my feet tingle. But the tingling hasn’t happened for a while now. Have minor ear pain that lasts a few seconds. Sometimes feels like there’s pressure in my ears. I hear ringing when I try to go to sleep. Ears itch every now and then. Sometimes i put my pinky finger in my ear and wiggle it to relieve an itch and my ear becomes moist. Like fluid coming out. Doesn’t drip but becomes very moist in my car canal. Doesn’t have an oder and looks clear.

    I have gone to my doctor several times and have received all types of antibiotics and anti vert for the lightheadedness but nothing seems to help. Antivert seems to help a little. It all started after an ear infection early this year and I have suffered from all those symptoms since. After the ear infection cleared and my temp was back down to normal I visited my doctor again for the dizziness/lightheadedness and he told me I had fungus infection.

    Do you have any ideas on what I could be suffering from? My next step is to visit an ENT since my family doctor has not helped after several months.. Very frustrated because I can no longer drive my self anywhere or go out much. Any help would be highly appreciated.

    Forgot to mention I had a CT scan done and blood tests and everything came back normal.

  • Dr. Chris

    Hi F.Rico

    There are quite a few possibilities for your symptoms.

    The first consideration is whether there is more than one condition present and you and your doctor are being distracted by the ear infection. Given that you do have an ear infection (previously bacterial and now fungal), has your doctor excluded other possibilities like tumors of the inner/middle ear, cholesteatoma, or even this being due to TIA (transient ischemic attacks where blood supply to the brain fluctuates and this precedes a stroker). A CT scan may not conclusively exclude all these possibilities.

    The second consideration is other conditions like Meniere’s disease or even the use of ototoxic drugs and so on.

    Otomycosis (fungal infection of the ear) is quite common although it is not well known to the general public. Typical symptoms include an itchy ear with a clear watery and odorless (or slightly musty odor) discharge from the ear. When “wiggling” your finger in your ear, you will hear that typical “splashy” sound. This however, will not explain your other symptoms.

    I would advise that you see a neurologist as soon as possible. It may still be an ENT problem but then your ENT specialist and the neurologist can work together.

  • Brooke D.

    Hi, I was wondering if someone could give me an idea on what I’ve been experiencing over the past few months? I would really appreciate it.

    A couple of months ago, I began experiencing a frequent clear fluid discharge coming from my ears any time I lay down on a ear. I thought at first it might have been water from when I had taken a shower, but it seemed no matter how hard I tried, the fluid just kept coming. We had some left over floxin ear pain reliever to see if that would help, but it only got rid of some of the pain. I went to the doctor, and he said it wasn’t an infection and he could see about half of the canal was covered with wax. The doctor suggested Debrox ear wax removal. I used that for about two weeks, and it seemed to work a little bit, but then the fluid came back again. I went back to my doctor a second time and I received an antibiotic and a different brand of ear pain drops. Like the first ear drops I had, this only took away the pain, not the fluid. Desperate to find something that would get rid of the fluid, I went back to the doctor and I explained that the pain I felt was inside my ear, and sometimes near my jaw. He said that the pain was due to TMJ and that I should use alcohol to get rid of the fluid. This seemed to work for a few days, but then the fluid began more heavy again. I continued to use this, but now my ears are beginning to crack when I swallow or move my jaw. I also haven’t been able to hear as well and the pain is unbearable. Recently I started having pains in the top back part of my head, but I have not had any serious head injuries for about two years.

    I’ve tried everything to try to make this stop and it seems like I just can’t find a solution. Now, I’m desperate to find some kind of answer. I could really use your help.

  • F.Rico

    Ok, well I went to the ENT a few days ago and he said hecould not see traces of fungus. I’m guessing the antibiotics cleared it up. He did say I had almost zero earwax which would explain the drainage, itch, and ringing. He seemed to ignore the lightheadedness and dizzy feeling I get. I made an appointment for a hearing test and balance test to be performed in a week. What exactly do those test for? Would they help rule out an inner ear infection or problem? I tried asking the ENT but he seemed to be in a hurry and never answered all my questions. I’ll start looking for a neurologist in my area and might make an appointment after the hearing and balance tests. Looking over my CT results and it says “no acute intracranial abnormality is identified”. Would that mean no tumor? Also says “calvaria and skull base are intact. Orbits, paranasal sinuses, and temporal bones are clear”. So, what I’m getting out of your reply and how my ENT pretty much pushed aside the dizzy symptoms, this is more than likely something the ENT can not help with? Thanks for your advice I really appreciate it. I will try your suggestions and hopefully come across something that helps. This has all pretty much paused my life as I can not drive or go anywhere with out feeling light headed/dizzy.

  • Dr. Chris

    Hi Brooker D.

    You need to see an ENT (ear-nose-throat specialist or otolaryngologist) immediately. It is possible that the watery fluid you were seeing was due to a funagl infection which has now complicated further. It is also possible that this could have been CSF (cerebrospinal fluid) due to a leak. Alcohol should never be used in the ear in the manner you describe. The skin lining the ear canal is very sensitive to drying and chemical injury and alcohol can cause this. From what you say, the condition has reached a point where it cannot be managed at home and needs specialist medical attention. See an ENT specialist IMMEDIATELY. Your hearing could be permanently damaged.

  • Dr. Chris

    Hi F.Rico

    This is well within the ENT’s ambit so the lack of interest or concern on his part is confusing. Yes, do the hearing and balance tests. it may help to identify inner ear problems or related conditions like Meniere’s disease etc. The symptoms may not always be obvious at the outset. Dizziness should not be ignored. It may not be due to any serious condition if it is temporary but in this case it is persisting and that has to be investigated. Do those tests, go back to the ENT and if you are not happy, seek a second opinion with another ENT. Also see a neurologist when you can. Antibiotics cannot clear up a fungal infection but then it may not have been a fungal infection to start with. Unfortunately there is only so much advice that can be offered through an online platform. Physical interaction is necessary. Good luck.

  • Caitlin C.

    I recently came down with a very severe case of strep throat, complete with a 103 fever and throat abscesses so I went to the emergency room, and while there I noticed that I had lost most of the hearing in my left ear. It also felt like there was a lot of pressure in my ear (I was told this was because my throat had swollen up so much). I was given a steroid/antibiotic shot, and a penicillin shot, which cleared up everything except my ear problem. It’s been about 6 days, and I’ve noticed my ear just keeps getting worse. I now can’t hear a thing out of it, I can “feel” and hear my heartbeat inside my ear all the time, it’s very tender and swollen and painful right underneath, and yesterday morning my ear started leaking a yellowish-whitish fluid.

    I’m a bit confused because, even if I had an ear infection since I first started getting sick, shouldn’t the penicillin have mostly cleared it up, or at least prevented it from getting worse, especially since there is no more swelling in my throat? How long should I wait for this to clear up before I make an appointment with my doctor?

  • Dr. Chris

    Hi Caitlin

    Don’t wait. See your doctor immediately. The infection may have been pre-existing and only aggravated and noticed during this acute throat infection. Or you may have some other type of middle ear problem that exacerbated during this episode. Since the hearing is impaired, you should see a doctor immediately. Progression of this condition can permanently damage your hearing. The causative organism may not respond to penicillin despite your throat infection having resolved.

  • Elsy

    So, i came down with an ear infection like 2 days before Thanksgiving. i went to the doctor that Sunday and was prescribed Amoxicillin for 10 days. its been a week now and my ear is still clogged and i have muffled hearing. it gets super itchy and it pops sometimes and i feel liquid in there. is this normal, is it going to go away soon or should i go back to the doctors?

  • Elsy

    oh i forgot to mention that i finished all my prescibed doses of amoxicillin.

  • Perplexed

    Hello-
    I’ve been having an on-and-off discharge from both ears (though never both at the same time) for months. The discharge doesn’t have much of an odor, though recently it smells vaguely like mint (I’m not joking!). It’s slightly yellow in color, or at least that what the Q-Tips look like if I swab out my ear. There has never been any pain involved, though I have had the sensation of a leak- where I could swab out my ear, grab my outer ear and move it around some, and feel liquid draining into my ear canal. I went to a sick call earlier this year and mentioned it to my doctor at the time, but he did not notice anything out of the ordinary in my ear. The only annoying effects are the sensation of having liquid in my ear and of the occasional itching. I plan on mentioning it again the next time I see my doctor, but was wondering if this is something that I should be concerned about for any serious health issues or long term consequences. Thanks!

  • Dr. Chris

    Hi Elsy

    You should have seen the symptoms improve after 2 to 3 days after commencing the antibiotics (sometimes later) and the symptoms may persist, although significantly milder, even after finishing the antibiotics. However, your symptoms appear to be quite intense. You should go back and see your doctor at this point.

  • Dr. Chris

    Hi Perplexed

    A chronic effusion in the middle ear may cause these symptoms. It is often related to a chronic infection. You need to see an otolaryngologist (ENT specialist). Further investigation needs to be conducted to exclude other possibilities like a choleastatoma. The appropriate treatment will then be decided. Do not ignore it as it could lead to complications like hearing loss.

  • Concerned Mom

    Hi – My 4 year old son has already lost one tube and when he was last seen a couple of months ago he still had one remaining tube in his ear. Yesterday I started to see some draining coming out of the ear that still had the tube in it. The drainage is yellow and sticky. Today the drainage has gotten much worse and he’s now complaining that his ear hurts. He almost cried when I put a hat on him and he won’t let my husband and I even close to his ear to try to “blot” up the draining. I’d like to take him to his regular pediatrician tomorrow but I’m wondering if I should take him to urgent care instead? He has no fever and no other symptoms…

  • Dr. Chris

    Hi Concerned Mom

    If his hearing is impaired, the pain is severe or if a fever starts up then a visit to the ER is warranted. Otherwise you could wait till the pediatrician appointment tomorrow. However you should speak to a doctor, even if just telephonically, to decide on what you should do as we are not in a position to advise you appropriately since we are not dealing with your son’s case.

  • R M KHAN

    i am having a problem in both ear.sometimes wa watery discharge or quite an 8 to 12 hours later yellowish discharge coming out from the years during night yellowish discharge increased . kindly suugest reason and home remedy if available.
    thanks

  • Dr. Chris

    RM Khan,

    You need to see an otolarygnologist (ENT specialist) who can examine the area and make a diagnosis. only once the condition is diagnosed can the proper treatment be prescribed. This may be as mild and common as swimmer’s ear or even more serious like a choleastatoma. See a doctor and do not try any home remedies as you could cause damage to your ear and even affect your hearing permanently.

  • bookgirl

    My have a almost 5 year old daughter who has had chronic ear infections. She was adopted 3 1/2 years ago from Vietnam. Since we have had her she has had 3 sets of tubes put in and had the mastoid removed on the right ear. She still is having severe infections. What else can be done? She has lost 50% of her hearing.

  • Dr. Chris

    Hi Bookgirl

    Without knowing the exact cause, it is impossible to tell you what more can be done. Hopefully you are seeing an otolaryngologist (ENT specialist) who can advise you further and has excluded less common conditions like a choleastatoma. Recurrent infections and non-responsiveness to medication may be an indication of an immune disorder. The difficult part here is that you may not be aware of the child’s full medical history especially in infancy which could be contributing factors to the current condition(s). Speak to your pediatrician about further tests, apart from the ear condition.

  • yayi

    hello. my daughter has had cough and fever for 3days now. just this pm, i noticed that she has a discharge on the ear. it’s not bloody, just white and a little sticky. what could it be?

  • Dr. Chris

    Hi Yayi

    It could be that the infection she has has progressed up into the ear. You should take her to a doctor because ear infections in kids can be notoriously persistent and may lead to other complications if left untreated. See a doctor immediately.

  • Adrianna

    Ive had severe ear pain starting last night. I couldn’t sleep and i went to the doctor this morning.He diagnosed me with URI the when i got home, clear red liquid started dishcharging from my ears. Is this still URI and will it be treated with the same antibiotics?

  • Dr. Chris

    Hi Adrianna

    An upper respiratory tract infection can involves the ears and could account for the discharge. However given the appearance which indicates the presence of blood, you should see an ENT specialist (otolaryngologist) immediately to exclude other pathology that may be existing simultaneously. You would want to avoid complications that could affect your hearing in the long run.