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Wearing hearing aids. Noticed discharge from ear canal and rashes on ear lobe. What's wrong?

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ENT Specialist
Practicing since : 1991
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The last few days my left ear canal has been producing a smelly, thin liquid. Yesterday my lobe broke out in a rash that looks a lot like ezcema. I wear hearing aids, but have not been wearing the left one to give it a chance to heal. It doesn't hurt, but really, really itches! Other than the rash and itching, I feel normal. What is going on?!
Posted Tue, 18 Dec 2012 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Answered by Dr. Sumit Bhatti 1 hour later

Thank you for your query.

1. Wearing hearing aids or ear plugs is known to increase the chances of ear canal infections. How long have you been using hearing aids? Are the ear pieces open or closed fit?

2. The ideal way to diagnose this is to get your ear examined by an ENT Specialist.

3. There is a possibility that the smelly, thin liquid and the ear lobe rash is a result of a persistent mild fungal (severe itching) or bacterial infection. Did you have had a recent cold, or tried cleaning your ear yourself?

4. Since there is no pain or fever, only rash and itching, it may heal on it's own. It is still better to get a direct examination and opinion in case any antibiotic and ear drops are required.

5. If you get a video otoscopy done, you may share the images here. You may also share your audiogram.

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

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