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Child having ear pain with yellow discharge. Medicine to get rid of this?

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ENT Specialist
Practicing since : 2001
Answered : 2349 Questions
My 6 year old had been complaining of ear ache. Then last night, whilst sleeping, yellow XXXXXXX and blood pus came out. He is happier today, and the pain seems to have subsided. Does he need antibiotics to get rid of the infection? And, how long will the ear drum take to repair?
Thank you
Posted Mon, 14 Jan 2013 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Answered by Dr. Naveen Kumar 1 hour later

Thanks for posting the query

The symptoms you have described are the features of acute suppurative otitis media (ASOM). ASOM is the acute infection of the middle ear secondary to blockage of the Eustachian tube (the tube connecting nose and the ear).

Whenever there is cold, the mucosal lining of the nose gets congested due to which there is blockage of the Eustachian tube. When the tube gets blocked, negative pressure is created in the middle ear. Negative pressure thus caused induces acute pain in the ear. Continued pressure inside the middle ear causes secretions in the middle ear to get accumulated. Once the amount of secretions in middle ear exceeds its limit, it exerts the pressure on the eardrum leading to worsening of the earache. At one point the eardrum unable to sustain the pressure in the middle ear, gives way. Once the eardrum gets perforated, there is pus oozing out of the ear followed by relief in pain.

He will definitely require antibiotic ear drops (such as ciprofloxacin ear drops), a nasal decongestant and a saline nasal spray, followed by steam inhalation. Avoid water into the ear. Encourage your child to drink plenty of warm water.

With these above measures, the child will definitely recover faster and the eardrum will heal within a week. Best of all, is to consult a good ENT specialist for a complete examination of the ear and aural toilet. Without regular cleaning of the ear by the doctor, the ear drops will not reach the middle ear; which can delay the process of healing.

Hope I have answered your query; I will be available for the follow-up queries.

Dr. Naveen Kumar N.
ENT and Head & Neck Surgeon
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Child having ear pain with yellow discharge. Medicine to get rid of this? 1 hour later
Thank you for your quick response.
Can the ear drops wait until Monday, as it is already late here in Australia and it is Sunday tomorrow?
Answered by Dr. Naveen Kumar 36 minutes later

Thanks for writing back

Yes, you can wait till Monday. Meanwhile, clean the discharge from outside with a clean, wet cotton swab. Do not use earbuds to clean the ear. Also, avoid water into the ear while giving bath and no swimming till the eardrum heals.

I wish her speedy recovery.

Dr. Naveen Kumar N.
ENT and Head & Neck Surgeon
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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