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Infant had white fluid coming out of ear. What could it be?

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ENT Specialist
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My baby is 3 weeks old, today I saw , some white fluid (possibly milk) a few drops coming out of her left ear, what could be the reason? is it serious?
Posted Wed, 31 Jul 2013 in General Health
 
 
Answered by Dr. Sumit Bhatti 2 hours later
Hi,

Thank you for your query.

1. The most common cause for this would be an ear infection. Get the baby's ear examined with an otoscope. If infection is confirmed, antibiotic ear drops may help to control the infection. Fungal infections should be ruled out. Sometimes it may only be wet wax or ear debris accumulated at birth.

2. The ear is connected to the back of the nose by the eustachian tube. This eustachian tube is shorter, wider and more horizontal than in an adult. Hence milk may easily enter into the middle ear, increasing the chances of ear infection. For this reason, it is always recommended that the infants head is slightly raised while feeding. Theoretically, milk can only come out into the ear canal if the ear drum is ruptured. Milk actually coming out of the ear is unlikely.

3. I must emphasize that ear infections are common in infants and this is not a cause for worry as long as you get it examined and treated.

I hope that I have answered your query. If you have any further questions, I will be available to answer them.

Regards.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Infant had white fluid coming out of ear. What could it be? 4 hours later
Thank You for your reply Doctor,

As the baby has completed 3 weeks is it possible that debris from birth comes out now?
Should I take her to a pediatrics doctor or ENT?

but in infacts is it possible (when eardrum membrane is thin) that the food or any liquid can come out of eustachian tube, after feeding?

I am really worried if any rupture has happened to ear drum of my baby.

There was some 2-3 drops of white liquid coming out of ear. Baby has a habit of keeping head to a side also.

I'll immediately take her to examine and get back



 
 
Answered by Dr. Sumit Bhatti 3 hours later
Hi,

Thank you for writing back.

1. It is possible for ear wax or debris to come out now as the ear canal skin sheds from within outwards slowly.

2. Take her to an ENT Specialist first an then you may consult an Pediatric specialist.

3. Theoretically, it is possible for foodstuff/ milk to come out of the ear, however there must be a regurgitation of this material into the nose, which is rare in a normal child.

4. Ear discharge is very common in infants. There is no cause for worry. Ruptured ear drums may heal quickly as long as infection and ear discharge is controlled.

I hope that I have answered your query. If you have any further questions, I will be available to answer them.

Regards.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Infant had white fluid coming out of ear. What could it be? 1 hour later
Thank You Doctor, We had taken her to a Pediatric doctor, he examined and told that it is substance similar to ear wax and its is nothing to worry, and it happens for babies
Thank You for your guidance and I really appreciate your prompt responses.

Best Regards
Amrith
 
 
Answered by Dr. Sumit Bhatti 3 hours later
Hi,

Thank you for writing back.

1. That is good to hear. No active management is necessary. However, get an ENT opinion whenever possible.

2. You should follow the suggestion of keeping her head slightly raised while feeding (for the reasons mentioned above).

Wishing you all good health.

Regards.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
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