What causes persistent ear discharge?

Posted on Sat, 20 Aug 2016 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Question: I have been experiencing watery leakage from my ears for a few years now.It has mainly been a nuisance, awakening me during sleep and disrupting my routine. When I asked my PCP to check it out, he found no evidence of leaks or holes, no redness or inflammation, and he prescribed eardrops 5 times a day, simply because of the moisture present. I chose not to use them as my whole issue is that I can't stand wet ears. Since that visit, I discovered one clue. I was laying on my back watching a sad video and I started to cry. The tears immediately flooded my ears from the inside. This was the first time I had had this occur, and I was hoping it would shed some light on why this problem continues. Thank you.
Answered by Dr. Abubakar Siddiqh 8 hours later
Brief Answer:
Csf otorrohea

Detailed Answer:

I had gone through your question and understand your concerns that you are having leakage from ear. I would like to ask you few more details.

Is there any previous trauma ?
Is that liquid, fowl smelling?

Kindly get back to me with the details ?

Answers and solutions

As per your clinical details, it appears to be csf otorrohea.

Below skull, around the brain contains fluid (cerebrospinal fluid) to protect brain. It is quite common that, it may leak in some times through ear, after bony fractures or some times, bony infection secondary long standing cholesteatoma ( simple benign growth) also leakage.

I suggest you to do culture/ sensitivity of the discharge and Ct scan of temporal bones to know the site and status of leak.

Kindly discuss with your treating doctor about this investigations and go ahead.

Hope this answers your question, if you have additional questions or follow up questions then please do not hesitate in writing to us. I will be happy to answer your questions.

Wishing you good health.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Nagamani Ng
Follow up: Dr. Abubakar Siddiqh 15 hours later
I have had no previous trauma that I can remember. The fluid usually has no discernible odor, but just this week the left side is sore and has a slightly sour smell. I had had a pretty severe cold earlier in the summer and have had some residual infection due to that. So while I currently seem to have an infection, those symptoms are not typical of the normal leakage issue.
Answered by Dr. Abubakar Siddiqh 9 hours later
Brief Answer:
neeed ct scan of temporal bone.

Detailed Answer:
Hello again,

Thanks for considering my answer and for your follow up.

Normally, usual infections will resolve on its own or with medications. Ear discharge from years, watery in nature with out fowl smell could be due to un healed ear drum infection secondary to cholestatoma or some thing else ( csf leakage).

In my opinion, you need to do those investigations ( I have already mentioned) to know the exact cause.

All the best. Take care.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Priyanka G Raj
Answered by
Dr. Abubakar Siddiqh

ENT Specialist

Practicing since :1994

Answered : 2038 Questions


The User accepted the expert's answer

Share on
Question is related to
Diseases and Conditions ,   ,  
Lab Tests
Medical Topics ,  

Recent questions on  Severe cold

doctor1 MD

Started fever 11 days ago. Nodes in 2 areas of neck swollen but better. Left arm near elbow broken out and itches. My right entire side of back is...

doctor1 MD

Hello Doctor, About 10 days ago I got fever along with severe cold and throat pain. I took the usual Calpol and Levo Citrezine to control fever and...

doctor1 MD

Dear Doctor, Below is my case history: I got severe cold on wed 11/08 last week and I got abt 100 fever on Wed night. I met doctor in person and...

doctor1 MD

I had a bad cold/flu in August 2012 it cleared up but I got another cold soon after this underlying sense of something not quite right with my...

Get personalised answers from verified doctor in minutes across 80+ specialties

175 Doctors Online

By proceeding, I accept the Terms and Conditions

HCM Blog Instant Access to Doctors
HCM Blog Questions Answered
HCM Blog Satisfaction