Ear Discharge: Causes, Treatments & Prevention
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What causes discharge from ear? 10 possible conditions

Ear discharge, also known as otorrhea, is any fluid that comes from the ear. Here's a look at its causes and potential treatments. Read more

See a list of possible causes in order from the most common to the least.

1

Ear Infections

An ear infection occurs when a bacterial or viral infection affects the middle ear--the sections of the ear just behind the eardrum. Ear infections can be painful because of inflammation and fluid build up in the middl...

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2

Foreign Body in Ear

In medical terms, a foreign object is something that is in the body but does not belong there. It may be inserted into the body accidentally or intentionally.

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3

Otitis Externa

An outer ear infection is an infection in the tube that connects the opening of the ear to the eardrum.

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4

Middle Ear Infection

A middle ear infection (otitis media), occurs when a virus or bacteria causes the area behind the eardrum to become inflamed. It is most common in children.

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5

Mastoiditis

If an infection develops in your middle ear and blocks your Eustachian tube, it may subsequently lead to a serious infection in the mastoid bone.

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6

Malignant Otitis Externa

Malignant otitis externa occurs when an ear infection spreads to the outer ear and surrounding tissue.

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7

Head Injury

This condition is considered a medical emergency. Urgent care may be required.

A head injury is an injury to your brain, skull, or scalp. All head injuries should be treated seriously and assessed by a doctor.

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8

Eardrum Rupture

An eardrum rupture is a small hole or tear in your eardrum, or tympanic membrane. The tympanic membrane is a thin tissue that divides your middle ear and outer ear canal. This membrane vibrates when sound waves ente...

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9

Cholesteatoma

A cholesteatoma is a noncancerous cyst that can develop in the ear. Learn about its causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment.

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10

Skull Fractures

This condition is considered a medical emergency. Urgent care may be required.

A skull fracture is any break in the cranial bone, or the skull. It can result in bleeding, bruising, pain, and swelling. Less severe symptoms include headache, nausea, confusion, and blurred vision.

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This feature is for informational purposes only and should not be used to diagnose.
Please consult a healthcare professional if you have health concerns.
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