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Eardrum blocked from wax. Noticed blood after putting drops of mineral oil in ear. What should I do?

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ENT Specialist
Practicing since : 1992
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hi. I had a blocked eardrum from wax. Today I put a little mineral oil on a qtip and gently put it in the ear, and it had bright red blood. I used a number of qtips gently just to try to see if it would stop bleeding and after about ten I put some cotton in the ear. it is better after an hour but may still be some blood. No trauma I know of except the ears popped last week from coming through mountains on a car trip. do I need to rush to the doc or can I wait and see? Thanks.
Posted Fri, 19 Oct 2012 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
 
 
Answered by Dr. Ravinder Sharma 49 minutes later
Hello I am Dr Ravinder Sharma ENT surgeon
On the basis of information provided it appears you have a injury in the ear canal while you were cleaning your ear canal.
The skin lining the ear canal (external auditory canal) is very thin and prone to trauma even on gentle cleaning/rubbing with q tip.
If the injury in confined only to the ear canal it will gradually settle down (three to five days) as the healing occurs.
If this injury to ear canal is also involving tympanic membrane(ear drum) it may take some more time.
It is not related to the your car trip.
I would advise you to
1. Avoid putting in anything in the ear canal till you are attended by a doctor
2. If it is hurting (painful) it is appropriate to take a analgesic or anti inflammatory drug
3. It is not a emergency situation but I would advise you to plan a visit with a ENT surgeon

I hope this answers your concerns. Feel free to contact me if your need more information on this

With warm regards

Ravinder Sharma
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Eardrum blocked from wax. Noticed blood after putting drops of mineral oil in ear. What should I do? 19 hours later
Thank you for yor reply and very helpful information. I've been slightly feverish off and on last evening through the night and have very mild but noticeable nasal-respiratory symptoms. previous to the blood in the ear there was an unusual amount of soft wax over the previous two days. The ear is now itchy but only a slight discharge. Wondering if the other symptoms could mean that there is a more widespread infection? Could having an injury in the ear cause a sinus infection, and should I be concerned about being contagious? I appreciate your time!
 
 
Answered by Dr. Ravinder Sharma 1 hour later
Dear Sir

Thanks for the follow up of your query

Off and Fever since yesterday could be a part of nasal rspiratory symptoms (Possibly a viral Upper ear canal. Antiallergics like cetrizine or fexofenadine will help in reducing itching and thus reduce your tendency to clean ear because of itching.

Discharge appears to be the part of wax deposits or because of the rupture of drum (depending on the site of injury). Even if there is a perforation in the drum it will not spread to the sinuses. So you don't have to worry about it. However you should avoid cleaning ear canal with q tip -- if you have a perforation in the drum and you put a q tip from outside it carries the deposits or wax or infection from outer part of ear canal to the middle ear (site of perforation) and thus increasing the risk of infection. Also putting any oil or ear drops in the ear canal till you are attended by a ENT surgeon is to be avoided. If the perforation in drum is ruled out there is not problem in putting ear drops.

Having a infection in ear is unlikely to cause problem in the sinuses. However the reverse is true. (Infected sinuses can be a potential source of ear infection).
It is not contagious.

I hope this answers your concern. Feel free to contact me if you need more information about it

with warm regards
Ravinder Sharma

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Eardrum blocked from wax. Noticed blood after putting drops of mineral oil in ear. What should I do? 12 hours later
Thank you Dr. XXXXXX I appreciate your time and helpful information. I will have my ear looked at next week.
 
 
Answered by Dr. Ravinder Sharma 39 minutes later
Hi
Thanks for such nice words
This is Dr Ravinder Sharma. I am happy to see that the information provided was helpful to you.

I would be happy to help you if you need further inofrmation about it or any other query related to ear nose and throat diseases

with warm regards
Ravinder Sharma
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
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