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What causes blood-tinged ear discharge along with pain in the ear?

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Posted on Wed, 16 May 2018
Question: I've had fluid - sometimes a clear, off-white, sometimes with blood - oozing out of my right ear. There is no accompanying ongoing pain, just an occasional sharp pain that comes and goes in a few seconds. 5 pills of Levoquin didn't help. What could be causing this and do I need Ciprodex drops?
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Answered by Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh (33 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Information

Detailed Answer:
Hello and welcome,

What is most likely causing this drainage is either an infection of the ear canal (otitis externa) or an infection of the middle ear (otitis media) with a ruptured ear drum.

If the infection is in the ear canal, then antibiotic ear drops would be the treatment, sometimes mixed with steroid drops in the same preparation if needed.

If the ear drum is ruptured and the drainage is from behind it, you don't want to put anything in the ear canal, and treatment would be oral antibiotic.

So I recommend going back in to see a doctor to see what is going on in your ear.

If you go to an urgent care clinic, request to see a doctor and decline to see a physician's assistant or nurse practitioner to evaluate this, as they have less training. You would make this request when you check in.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :1991

Answered : 3134 Questions

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What causes blood-tinged ear discharge along with pain in the ear?

Brief Answer: Information Detailed Answer: Hello and welcome, What is most likely causing this drainage is either an infection of the ear canal (otitis externa) or an infection of the middle ear (otitis media) with a ruptured ear drum. If the infection is in the ear canal, then antibiotic ear drops would be the treatment, sometimes mixed with steroid drops in the same preparation if needed. If the ear drum is ruptured and the drainage is from behind it, you don't want to put anything in the ear canal, and treatment would be oral antibiotic. So I recommend going back in to see a doctor to see what is going on in your ear. If you go to an urgent care clinic, request to see a doctor and decline to see a physician's assistant or nurse practitioner to evaluate this, as they have less training. You would make this request when you check in.