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Ear Discharge: How to Tackle the Problem?

Written by
Dr. Bindia
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.

Published on Jun 22, 2018 and last reviewed on Jan 07, 2019   -  1 min read


Ear discharge or otorrhea is commonly seen in both children and adults. It mostly happens due to infection. It has a variety of other causes as well and leads to complications if not treated early. Here, we discuss the causes and management of the condition.

Ear Discharge: How to Tackle the Problem?

Ear discharge or otorrhoea can occur in both perforated and non-perforated ears in children and adults. It may be of short duration or may persist for a long duration and be recurrent. There are various causes of ear discharge which are discussed below.

Causes of Ear Discharge:

  1. Outer ear infection (swimmer's ear).
  2. Middle ear infection.
  3. Upper respiratory tract infections.
  4. Trauma.
  5. Foreign body insertion (beads, toys).
  6. Neoplasm.
  7. CSF (cerebrospinal fluid) leak.
  8. Eczematous conditions.
  9. Metabolic and systemic diseases.

In most of the conditions, the ear discharge is of short duration and can be controlled with medications and treatment of underlying cause.

The discharge which persists can be a consequence of the complications of the disease process and can further lead to complications. It can be due to a foreign body insertion which goes unnoticed for some time and presents with a severe earache and discharge.


  1. Mastoiditis.
  2. Brain abscess.
  3. Hearing loss.
  4. Meningitis.
  5. Neck abscess.


Medications and various precautions are required to tackle the problem. The ENT specialist will prescribe you medications for one or two weeks.

If the condition persists, a visit to an ear specialist is required, as a persisting condition may need ear surgery like tympanoplasty, mastoid exploration, and excision of neoplasm.


  1. Keep the ear dry.
  2. Do not put earbuds or other things into the ear canal.
  3. Avoid forceful blowing and sneezing of the nose.

For more information consult an ear infections specialist online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/ENT-Otolaryngologist/ear-infections


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Last reviewed at:
07 Jan 2019  -  1 min read




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