Before getting into the details of illness and disorders of the ear, we will share some light on the symptoms of conditions of the ear. Among the most common conditions in the ear, pain in the middle ear and ear wax build-up are prominent. Although, the role of ear wax is to protect the lining of the ear canal with its germ-killing properties. If the earwax is removed, the ear canals get itchy. If so, the patient should not use cotton swabs, or else, the same may develop a tear.
Is your kid at a higher risk of ear infections?
In some cases, where the eardrum is ruptured or torn, water may enter during shower, swimming or water fight. No one should ignore such conditions, as well as in kids. It’s known to everyone that kids have a lower tolerance of and are much more likely to catch cold & other infections.
In kids with ventilation tubes, a certain type of fluid may seem persistent which can be either clear or slightly cloudy. The same can be a result of tube blockage. If you are noticing such symptoms in your kid, you may want to schedule a visit to your kid’s ENT specialist as soon as possible.
An ENT specialist may use an otoscope (device to see the ear canal) to check ear wax, if it’s present, it needs to be removed to properly diagnose the eardrum. After the ear wax removal procedure, a patient may feel a small scratch inside the ear canal. Although the chances of occurrence are slim, the scratch oozes 1 or 2 drops of blood and heals up in a few days.
It shouldn’t affect the hearing. The patients need not put anything in the ear canal or it may start bleeding again. If the condition develops an infection, a cloudy fluid or pus drainage is noticeable. The pus may drain inside the eardrum since a small tear is present. In some cases of ear pain, a patient can find relief by taking an acetaminophen product or an ibuprofen product as prescribed.
Types of Ear Discharge
Pus or Cloudy Fluid: It’s the most common type of ear discharge and the main cause is an ear infection. If the drainage is present, it may lead to a torn eardrum. If a bacterial ear infection is present, there are chances of eardrum perforation.
Ear Tube Fluid: Kids who get frequent ear infections may need to get ventilation tubes in the ears. The tubes help the middle ear drain the fluids to dry. In certain cases, the ear tube gets clogged that allows the fluids to build up in the middle ear until the ear tube opens up again. This may cause clear fluid drainage from the ear canal.
Earwax: Earwax is produced by our body to protect the ears. It can be of various colors such as light brown, dark brown, or orange-brown. If it gets wet with water or anything infectious, it may look like a discharge.
Swimmer’s Ear Discharge: In this condition, symptoms are an itchy ear canal which in severe cases may result in whitish, watery discharge. It called swimmers ear discharge after it was found quite prevalent in swimmers during summertime.
Discharge due to foreign objects: Kids sometimes put small objects in their ear canal which may cause a low-grade infection or pus colored discharge. If the object was sharp, the discharge may contain streaks of blood.
What is the best way to prevent ear discharge?
We are listing out some best methods which can help anyone to keep the illness of ear or ear discharge at bay.
- stay away from sick people
- babies get mother’s antibodies in milk (breastfeeding may provide infants with protection from ear infections)
- if you bottle-feed your baby, try holding your infant in an upright position
- keep small or foreign objects out of your ears to avoid rupturing your eardrum
- avoid excessive noise or bring earplugs, muffs to protect your eardrums
- remember to dry your ears after coming out of the water
- you can drain water by turning your head to one side and then the other
- also, OTC medicated ear drops may alleviate the swimmer’s ear after a swim
What are the treatment options for ear discharge?
In most cases, the treatment of ear discharge depends on the cause. In a lot of cases, the condition of the ear may not need any medical treatment as a 48-hour “wait-and-see” approach is recommended. Remember to follow-up after 48 hours as kids may require treatment of ear pain in cases the condition doesn’t resolve on its own.
A mindset that ear infections resolve on its own may cause damage to the hearing if the signs of an ear infection are ignored even after a week or two, i.e. left without any treatment.
Some patients take pain medications as needed to deal with any pain or discomfort. If your kid is under six months and gets a fever frequently, your doctor might prescribe antibiotic ear drops. Even though the cases of ear disorders heal without treatment, if you have a perforated eardrum that doesn’t heal naturally, your doctor may suggest an advanced treatment that can not only make you better but heals your eardrum. The process is daycare and involves the surgical repair of the ear. A doctor needs to treat swimmer’s ear to prevent the infection from spreading.
Among other treatments, the best way to treat ear disorders such as pain, earwax, or drainage is an advanced treatment. The modern daycare procedures are a result of advancement in healthcare technology. New and more precise treatment procedures are approved by USFDA, involves no pain, cuts or wounds. They can be performed on patients of all age group and ensures high satisfaction as the success rate of such procedures are quite higher.
Having said that, we would like to add that anyone should not ignore or leave untreated even the benign disorders in the ear as some infections of ear end up infecting the entire canal leading to the brain. Also, an ENT specialist is the best judge of your condition, consult with an ENT specialist to know about the cause of your illness and the best treatment options for you.