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.

Disclaimer

The information contained in these topics is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, it is provided for educational purposes only. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information.

Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider before starting any new treatment or discontinuing an existing treatment. Talk with your healthcare provider about any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Nothing contained in these topics is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment.

  • Not a Substitute - The information and materials in Pediatric HouseCalls Symptom Checker should not be used as a substitute for the care and knowledge that your physician can provide to you.
  • Supplement - The information and materials presented here in Pediatric HouseCalls Symptom Checker are meant to supplement the information that you obtain from your physician. If there is a disagreement between the information presented herein and what your physician has told you -- it is more likely that your physician is correct. He or she has the benefit of knowing your child's medical problems.
  • Limitations - You should recognize that the information and materials presented here in Pediatric HouseCalls Symptom Checker have the following limitations, in comparison to being examined by your own physician:
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    • Your child could have an underlying medical problem that requires a physician to detect.
    • If your child is taking medications, they could influence how he experiences various symptoms.

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