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Dr. Andrew Rynne
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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What causes ear bleeding after cleaning it with a q tip?

I was cleaning my 4 year old's ear with a qtip and he moved and I didn't think it went in too far....all of a sudden it started bleeding. It bled for about 3 minutes and stopped. I asked if he was in pain and he said no. He was running around 5 minutes later with his twin and younger brother fine the rest of the evening. I looked with an otoscope and didnt see any forgein objects in there but because of the blood I couldn't see his ear drum. Should I take him to urgent care or wait for an appointment for regular pedestrian or ENT doctor? Or am I overracting? I have 5 boys and this has never happened.
Fri, 19 Jan 2018
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Dentist 's  Response
Thanks for the query..

As per your complain it seems that as your son moved while you were cleaning his ear with a q-tip and it started bleeding there can be 2 possibilities:

1.There can be injury to the lining or mucosa of the ear canal leading to laceration and it can lead to bleeding and it is not a serious condition as it will be resolved soon..

2. A sudden deeper penetration of the q-tip in the ear canal can lead to perforation of the ear drum and a perforated ear drum can lead to pain, bleeding and reduced hearing..

As you are unable to see the ear drum due to clotted blood in ear you should consult an ENT expert and get evaluated and he can remove the blood clots and do a thorough otoscopic examination and if there is perforation in ear drum, small perforations can be healed by antibiotics, anti-inflammatory painkillers, antibiotic ear drops and decongestants..
Larger perforations needs to be repaired surgically.

Hope this helps..

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