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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 18 years

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Runny ear wax coming from my 7 month old baby ?

My 7 month old baby has has a slight cough for about 2 days and last night was very unsettled. I gave him some calpol which eventually helped him off to sleep. This morning when he woke i picked him up out of his cot and there was a yellow runny wax all around his ear and some had leaked onto his shoulder , some crusty and some still sticky. Does he have an ear infection? And is this serious?
Mon, 9 May 2011
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ENT Specialist 's  Response
1. Copious yellow ear discharge is a sign of ear infection. Ear wax is not present in such large quantity that it may run down to the shoulder. Ear wax is also viscous and does not flow easily.

2. Ear infection is common in infants because the Eustachian Tube that connects the nose to the ear is shorter, wider and more horizontal than in an adult. Hence nasal infections, milk and nasal secretions reach and infect the ear easily. Raise his head while feeding.

3. There is no substitute for a direct ear examination using an otoscope. get his ear examined by a local ENT Specialist, who may then prescribe medication including ear drops. I assume that his ear discharge is not foul smelling.
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