Ear bleeding: What are the potential causes?

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There are some causes why ear bleeding occurs. Some of these causes can be troublesome. A doctor should be consulted if the individual experiences bleeding from the ear to determine the cause.

What are the usual causes?

Various conditions or injuries can lead to ear bleeding where each have their distinct symptoms that can be utilized by the doctor to diagnose the underlying cause.

  • Torn or ruptured eardrum
  • Ear infections
  • Barotrauma
  • Cancer of the ear canal
  • Foreign object in the ear
  • Head injuries

When to consult a doctor

Over-the-counter pain medications can help relieve the discomfort from ear infections, pressure problems or trauma.

It is important to note that ear bleeding is enough to urge one to consult a doctor. Some of the possible causes of bleeding might be dangerous. Consult a healthcare professional or bring the individual to the nearest emergency department if bleeding is observed. Remember that this is vital if blood drains out of the ears and recently sustained head injuries.

Other potential causes of ear bleeding such as an ear infection are relatively minor. Nevertheless, if the infection is not treated or there are other causes, it can lead to additional issues. It is best to set an appointment with a doctor as soon as possible.

Management of ear bleeding

Once the doctor determines the cause of ear bleeding, the ideal treatment can be started. The treatment is aimed on the underlying cause. Once the root cause is managed, the bleeding usually stops. The commonly used treatments include:

  • Antibiotics – these drugs work by treating and clearing up some infections but not all ear infections respond to antibiotics.
  • Pain medications – over-the-counter pain medications can help relieve the discomfort from ear infections, pressure problems or trauma.
  • “Watchful waiting” – most of the underlying causes for ear bleeding settle over time. This is the typical approach for a ruptured eardrum and concussion or other forms of trauma to the head. During the period after the bleeding started, the doctor will ask the individual to report any changes.
  • Warm compress – immerse a washcloth in hot or warm water, wring out the excess and apply over the affected ear. This helps lessen the pain and discomfort.
  • Ear protection – wear ear covers or plugs to prevent the entry of water and debris from entering the ears

More Information / Disclaimer

The information posted on this page on ear bleeding is for learning purposes only. Learn to properly manage the condition by taking a standard first aid course with Mississauga First Aid.

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