My ear is bleeding!

Originally Published: October 18, 2002
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Alice,

I need help. What do I do if I feel like I have an ear ache, only it's bleeding and clear stuff is coming out of it?

Dear Reader,

Call your primary health care provider or an ENT (Ears, Nose, and Throat specialist/doctor), or go to the Emergency Room. The fact that you have bloody discharge coming from your ear suggests that your eardrum (the tissue-thin membrane in your ear that vibrates to let you hear sound) may have been perforated (damaged). If this injury goes untreated, you could lose some or all of your hearing in that ear. Immediate attention from a real-live health care provider to diagnose and treat your ear ailment is in order.

Your ear needs an intimate encounter with an otoscope (that funny, funnel-shaped instrument with light that health care providers shine in your eyes, nose, and ears). Usual symptoms of an ear infection include:

  • earache or a feeling that the ear is full of or stuffed with cotton
  • discharge from the ear
  • impaired or loss of hearing
  • low fever
  • dizziness

Sorry, Alice is good for facts and other information, but can't offer certain diagnoses, treatment, or make house calls.

Alice