Ear discharge is drainage of blood, ear wax, pus, or fluid from the ear.
Most of the time, any fluid leaking out of an ear is ear wax.
However, discharge may also be caused by a minor irritation or infection. A ruptured eardrum can cause a white, slightly bloody, or yellow discharge from the ear. Dry crusted material on a child's pillow is often a sign of a ruptured eardrum.
Bleeding from the ear may also be due to:
To be safe, never put anything in the ear that is smaller than the tip of your little finger.
Treat inflammation or infection as your health care provider recommends. Your doctor may suggest ear drops.
Use a gentle, warm water flush with a syringe (available at the drug store) to remove packed-down ear wax. Do not attempt to remove impacted ear wax in very young children. If you can easily see and retrieve ear wax in older children, do so carefully. NEVER use sharp objects to attempt to remove wax.
Seek medical help for:
Don't get alarmed over a ruptured eardrum. Antibiotics can help prevent further infection during the healing process. Eardrum ruptures in children will usually heal completely within a few weeks.
For swimmer's ear (unless the eardrum is perforated):
Putting a little mineral oil or baby oil in each ear before swimming may help prevent the problem.
The health care provider will perform a physical examination and look inside the ears. You may be asked questions, such as:
The doctor may take a sample of the ear drainage and send it to a lab for examination.
The doctor may recommend anti-inflammatory or antibiotic medicines, which are placed in the ear. Antibiotics may be given by mouth if a ruptured eardrum from an ear infection is causing the discharge.
Drainage from the ear; Otorrhea; Ear bleeding; Bleeding from ear