Q. Should I be concerned about my ear infection and perforated eardrum?

Answered by
Dr. Shyam Kalyan N
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Jan 21, 2017

Hi doctor,

I was recently diagnosed with ear infection and a perforated eardrum. Initially, I was diagnosed with a viral respiratory infection and followed by ear infection in a two days. I have been taking antibiotics for three days now. I have a lot of fluid continuing to seep from my ear. How long does that usually last? Also, I have dull pain and tenderness in my head behind the infected ear. Should I be concerned about that? Thank you.



Welcome to icliniq.com.

It appears with your history that you are suffering from an upper respiratory tract infection that has complicated into an ear infection.

Usually, once the antibiotic course starts, the problem should resolve within three to four days and completely by five to seven days. It is normal to have mild, dull ache behind the ear during the acute course.

If you have diabetes, then the healing may get delayed. It is advisable to check your sugar levels and visit your doctor if they are high.

Pain and tenderness behind the ear may worsen, resulting in a swelling or bulge behind the ear. It may be accompanied by pushing out of the said ear. This is a case of acute mastoiditis, which means the antibiotic is not working and pus is continuously forming. In such a case you must visit the doctor soon as it may require a surgical drainage.

  • If the fluid coming out of the ear is still yellow or greenish, then you may need to send the fluid for a microbiological examination for culture sensitivity test. You may have to change the antibiotic as per the report.
  • However, if the fluid is watery or mucoid, but profuse, then you need not worry. We can add a mucolytic drug to accentuate its drainage.
  • Ambroxol hydrochloride, N-acetylcysteine and Bromhexine are some of the mucolytic available. Check with your doctor if he has given you any of these along with the antibiotic.
  • An antihistamine like Fexofenadine (120 mg) or Loratadine (10 mg) taken once daily can also help keep the ear dry. Usually, the perforated drum closes on its own if you follow some precautions like keeping the ear dry and preventing throat infections. Small perforations heal on their own.
  • If the ear perforation does not heal on its own and lasts more than three months, then we can do an otoscopic examination and plan for an endoscopic tympanoplasty that grafts the perforation with a new ear drum (taking tragal perichondrium as a graft).

The techniques for tympanoplasty vary and this is what we do in my setup. Till the same I suggest you continue the medicines.

For further information consult an ENT otolaryngologist online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/ENT-otolaryngologist

Was this answer helpful?


Related Questions:
I have ear clicking and discharge. What could be the reason?

.. history, it can either be due to wax impaction or it can be due to a defect in your eustachian tube functioning which is causing pressure differences in your ear and may cause fluid collection, or a tinnitus. But to confirm this, you need a person...   Read full

Other than earwax, what can cause clogged ear?

During an upper respiratory tract infection, like cold, the infection can rise up to ears through the eustachian tube that connects back of nose to middle ear ...   Read full

Is it safe to take Atarax when pregnant?

.. her pregnancy. I have gone through your history and understand your concerns. Yes, antihistamines are considered safe during pregnancy. As it is prescribed in a very low dose and she is in her second trimester, she can consume it, but not for a l...   Read full


This is a sponsored Ad. icliniq or icliniq doctors do not endorse the content in the Ad.

Also Read Answers From:

Comprehensive Medical Second Opinion.Submit your Case

Related Questions & Answers

I had an allergic after eating cherries. What to do?

Query: Hi doctor, I had an allergic reaction after eating fresh cherries last night. My eyes began itching and then swelled up. It also started tearing. I woke up this morning with mild swelling on the inner parts of my eyes. I have attached the photo for your reference. Please help.  Read Full »

What causes fever and blocked ears with cough?

Query: Hi doctor, I have a fever with a cough. I have blocked ear. What can I do?  Read Full »

I sit in front of the computer for long and I am unable to focus. How can I be helped?

Query: Hello doctor, My eyes are feeling cold and I am unable to focus. I have been feeling this since last week. I sit in front of the computer for a long time. I do not want spectacles. Please help.  Read Full »

Also Read

Parkinson's Disease: Historical Aspects and Current Treatment Approaches
This article discusses the historical aspects of Parkinsonism and, the evidence based approaches currently available for...  Read more»
I am suffering from dry and scaly scalp. Is that scalp psoriasis?
Hello doctor, I am suffering from dry, scaly patches on the scalp for the last six to eight months. Since childhood, I h...  Read more»
Birth Control Methods - Facts, and Types
Devices or treatments done to prevent unwanted pregnancy are called birth control methods.In this article, I am going to...  Read more»

Ask your health query to a doctor online?

Ask an ENT Otolaryngologist Now

* guaranteed answer within 4 hours.

Disclaimer: All health Q&As published on this website are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical diagnosis, advice or treatment by a trained physician. Seek the advice from your physician or other qualified health-care providers with questions you may have regarding your symptoms and medical condition for a complete medical diagnosis. Do not delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice because of something you have read on this website.