Plastic surgeon and board certified ear, nose and throat specialist Dr. Drew Ordon demonstrates how ear infections develop.
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Understanding the Colors of Ear Fluids Dr. Andrew Ordon: And so what Jim is talking about is his the external auditory a canal where wax is formed and that stuff will come out in varying amounts like you’ve said typically yellow or brown, not too dissimilar to these two colors here. But if you’re starting to see yellow or brown coming from your ear, it’s more likely an ear infection and thousands of people get ear infections in the middle of your space both kids and adults. And what happens is when you’re Eustachian tube gets blocked up, you get negative pressure in the middle ear space and then actually you’ve got to remove the ear drum for you, how cool was that? Dr. Lisa Masterson: Wow! Dr. Andrew Ordon: And right in here you’ll form an infection. Now if the infection stays behind the ear drum, you’re not going to get drainage out of the ear. So you’re really not going to see any fluid. But if it ruptures, if you get a hole in the ear drum, then you may see the yellow, the brown or the red. Now if you see the red, that’s blood. And that’s particularly serious that means that you’ve probably do have really erosion of the tissue in the middle of ear space and a hole in your ear drum. If you see something clear like this coming out of your ear, especially associated with trauma that could be something very serious that could cerebral spinal fluid. Meaning that you have a fracture in the bones around then ear and that’s actually coming out through the ear canal. Dr. Travis Stork: I want to clear for that, that’s one reason lot of times people ask when to go to the E.R. after the head injury. Certainly if you lose consciousness, if you have continued confusion or you’ve got those clear fluids or blood coming out from your external auditory canal, it’s worth going to the E.R. to get that checked out. Most of those other problems you’ve mentioned those other fluids, you can go to talk to your P.C.P. They can look in there and they can figure out what’s going on and what the next step.