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Had cold. Feeling tired, headache. Took paracetamol. Getting ear ache. Noticed blood from ear. Worrisome

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ENT Specialist
Practicing since : 2001
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Hi thank you for your site this may help me . Two week ago I had what I thaught was a bad cold but it lasted the full week I was very tired and drained but my head was effected more my ears were in so much pain it causede to loose my balance literally so I stumbled a bit it gave me the worst headache and when I took iburafen and parecetomol it killed the pain but I was still losing my balance and had loud ringing in my ears I didn't clean them it hurt too much but I didn't get discharge or wax either . Two week later since I was poorly my ears keep getting earache not as but but bad enough to give me headache and loud ringing on and off , and this morning my left ear was itching right XXXXXXX down inside I used a cotton bud to itch it ( anno I shouldn't have with how XXXXXXX it was and still is) when I took the cotton bud out it had fresh blood on it and my daughter looked in my ear n on the outer lobe ( creased bit not actual lobe the bit before the ear canal ) well she said it had dry blood there please could you advice or help kind regards XXXXXXX
Posted Fri, 17 Aug 2012 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Answered by Dr. Naveen Kumar 52 minutes later

Thanks for the query and a detailed history which has made my work easy.

The symptoms you are suffering from are due to acute sinusitis and the acute suppurative otitis media of the right ear.

The bleeding from the ear could be due to rupture of the ear drum following nasal congestion and should be confirmed with an examination of the ear.

The symptoms you are having are typical of acute sinusitis and otitis media. To explain you in detail; following an attack of cold there will be congestion of the nasal mucosa which leads to blockage of the sinus openings. Sinuses are the empty cavities in the skull to protect the brain. Once the sinuses are blocked secondary to the nasal congestion, there will be accumulation of the sinus secretions inside the sinus. This leads to increased pressure felt in the head, later followed by headache.

Similarly, following nasal congestion there will be blockage of the Eustachian tube (the tube connecting nose and the ear). This induces negative pressure inside the middle ear thus trapping the secretions in the middle ear. This is the cause for ringing in the ears and dizziness. Once the accumulation of the secretions exceeds its limit, it will try to drain out by perforating the ear drum and thus the blood stained secretions oozes out.

Do not worry, this is a common problem. Please follow the instructions below and you will be definitely alright. If the problem persists, please consult your doctor.

1. Drink plenty of warm water.
2. Use saline nasal spray, followed by steam inhalation 3-4 times a day, this helps in opening up of the blocked sinus and the Eustachian tube.
3. Avoid water into the affected ear. Use an ear plug while taking shower and clean the ear from outside.
4. You will require antibiotics such as a combination of amoxycillin and clavulanic acid or cefuroxime.
5. A mucolytic (such as bromhexine or ambroxol) to reduce the viscosity of secretions.

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

Dr. Naveen Kumar N.
ENT and Head & Neck Surgeon
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