Ear - Discharge

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Care at Home

  • EARWAX: * Ear wax protects the lining of the ear canal and has germ-killing properties. * If the earwax is removed, the ear canals become itchy. * Do not use cotton swabs (Q-tips) in your child's ear. * CALL YOUR DOCTOR IF: Begins to look like pus (yellow or green discharge).
  • CLEAR DISCHARGE (WITHOUT HEAD TRAUMA): * Most likely, this is from tears or water that entered the ear canal. This can happen during a bath, shower, swimming or water fight. * Don't overlook eardrops your child or someone else used without telling you. * In children with ventilation tubes, some clear or slightly cloudy fluid can occur. This happens when a tube blockage opens up and drains. * CALL YOUR DOCTOR IF: Clear drainage lasts for more than 24 hours.
  • BLOOD AFTER EAR EXAM: * Sometimes, ear wax needs to be removed by your doctor to see the eardrum. If ear wax was removed, it can cause a small scratch inside the ear canal. This happens about 10% of the time. The scratch oozes 1 or 2 drops of blood and then clots. * This should heal up in a few days. * It shouldn't affect the hearing. * Don't put anything in the ear canal. This may start the bleeding again. * CALL YOUR DOCTOR IF: Bleeding starts again.
  • EAR INFECTION: * Cloudy fluid or pus draining from the ear canal usually means there's an ear infection. * The pus drains because there's a small tear in the eardrum. * To help with the pain, give acetaminophen (such as Tylenol) or ibuprofen. Use as needed. See Dose Table. * See EARACHE for more advice. * CALL YOUR DOCTOR IF: Your child becomes worse.


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