Ear wax is also a normal discharge. Ear wax is light brown, dark brown or orange brown in color. Abnormal ear discharge may be due to infections, injury, foreign substances etc.
- Ear wax.
- Eczema and other skin irritations in the ear canal.
- Inflammation or infection like otitis externa, malignant otitis externa, otitis media, mastoiditis.
- Ruptured ear drum: It causes a white, slightly bloody or yellow discharge from ear. Dry crusted material on child’s pillow is a sign of ruptured ear drum. Causes for ruptured ear drum are injury from blow to head, foreign object, loud noises, or sudden pressure changes as in airplanes leads to rupture of ear drum.
- Swimmer’s ear-usually accompanied by itching. Scaling, a red or moist ear canal; and pain that increases when you move to ear lobe.
- Congenital tuberculosis.
Causes for foul-smelling discharge:
- Foreign body in ear.
- Pseudomonas ear infection.
- Otitis media.
- Chronic suppurative otitis media.
- Otitis externa.
- Glue ear.
Causes of bleeding from ear are cancer, foreign object I the ear canal, injury.
When to seek medical help:
- If the discharge is white, yellow, clear or bloody.
- If the discharge is due to injury.
- If the discharge lasts for more than 5 days.
- If there is sever pain.
- If the discharge is associated with other symptoms like fever, headache.
- If there is loss of hearing.
- Medical history.
- Ear examination.
Home care for ear discharge:
- Ear wax: It protects the lining of ear canal and has germ-killing properties.
- Clear discharge: May be due to water entered ear canal through as bath, shower or swimming.
- If there is any ear infection give paracetamol or ibuprofen.
- Avoid using any objects inside the ear.
- Anti-inflammatory medications.
- Antibiotic medications.
- Treating the cause. -