The sight of blood can be startling, especially when seeing bleeding from ear. Whether it is a drop or two of blood, or a constant trickle, it is important to figure out the cause of the bleeding. You may be surprised to know your ear may not even be affected, as the blood may be stemming from another source in the body. Learn the common causes of ear bleeding, and possible treatments available.
Our ears are delicate and a fundamental tool in our daily life. We depend on the functioning of all three sections of the ear to hear sounds and maintain balance. The outer ear consists of the external ear and ear canal. Our middle ear holds the eardrum, and the three bones are known as ossicles. The inner ear has the nerve endings to detect the sound waves that travel from the outer ear. As the sound waves enter the middle ear, they cause the eardrum and ossicles to vibrate, and travel into the inner ear to become electrical impulses that translate to the brain as an actual sound.
Bleeding from Ear Causes and Complications
Any discharge, including blood, from the ear is referred to as otorrhea. The blood signals a ruptured blood vessel somewhere in the body. Ear bleeding causes can range from a mild abrasion or cut to a serious health condition, usually with accompanying symptoms.
1. Ruptured Eardrum
A ruptured eardrum can happen easily from a change in air pressure, loud noises, infections, or by an object entering the ear canal, such as a cotton swab. Some cases of an injury to the eardrum may go unnoticed if there is no bleeding and it heals on its own.
If the ear canal lining or the eardrum is torn by a cotton swab, pencil, toy, or food, bleeding can appear in the outer ear. This can happen with cleaning the ear surface with an object, or if a child pushes a strange object in the ear.
3. Skull Fracture
A severe blow to the head can result in bleeding of the ear if a blood vessel is broken during the incident.
4. Hemorrhagic Fever
As a result of hemorrhagic fever, bleeding of the ear may occur, as the blood vessels are strained and collapse. This condition is caused by any of the four virus infections of Ebola, Lassa fever, Marburg fever, and yellow fever.
5. Aural Polyp
Also known as an otic polyp, this skin growth may be caused by a combination of a minor injury with a history of repeated infections. It can be found within the eardrum or along the ear canal.
6. Malignant Otitis Media
This infection is not common, but can present bleeding from the ear as it affects the bones of the ear canal, as well as the skull base. It is a continuation of an outer ear infection, which is referred to as swimmer’s ear.
7. Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation
A disseminated intravascular coagulation refers to the blockage of small blood vessels due to small blood clots. It is a rare disorder that causes bleeding from various parts of the body, including the ears.
Other Symptoms with Ear Bleeding
To determine the cause of bleeding from the ear, you should look for any other symptoms you may be experiencing, no matter how mild they may seem. Take note if you have the following:
- Weakness in the face
- Buzzing of the ears
- Pain in the ear
- Hearing problem
When there is a large amount of blood, or the bleeding does not stop, you should seek medical advice. If either one occurs with one of the following symptoms, visit an emergency center:
- Ringing of the ears
- Hearing loss
- Ear pain
- Deep, dark circles under the eyes
- Discharge from ears with a strong odor
If you are having any of the following symptoms with bleeding of ear, seek immediate medical attention:
- Vision issues
- Blood from the nose
- Unusual pupil size
- Severe exhaustion
- Substantial bleeding from ear
Treating Bleeding from Ear
As mentioned, most cases of bleeding from the ear should be attended to by a medical professional. Reduce your risk for further complications during treatment by following these tips:
- Avoid inserting any object into the ear, even in the outer ear
- Limit the use of ear buds once the condition is treated
- Always use ear plugs while in the water, such as during showers and swimming
- Avoid using products such as water or oil to clean out the blood from ear
Home Remedies for Minor Ear Bleeding Causes
For mild cases of bleeding of ear, such as a ruptured eardrum, the condition often heals itself in time. There are a few home remedies for ear bleeding treatment, and to treat the accompanying symptoms of swelling and pain.
Use a warm compress to apply heat to the affected ear to alleviate pain.
You can ease any fluid blockage in the Eustachian tube by using the power of steam.
The antibacterial properties of white vinegar combined with rubbing alcohol may treat any infection and buildup of fluid within the ear.
By using basil, you can treat any discharge or bleeding of ear, as the antibiotic component can help prevent infections and combat pain.
5. Breast Milk
Settle any inflammation and treat infections with the natural properties of breast milk.
Middle ear infections may be treated by using the juice of an onion. Heat the juice and apply two to three drops into the ear. Allow it to sit in the ear for five minutes before draining by tilting head to the side. You can repeat this two to three times daily.
Ear bleeding symptoms range from a mild trickling of blood to severe signs of trauma. Depending on whether it is caused by an infection, loud noises, or a health disorder, a bleeding ear may need immediate professional medical attention, or may heal itself over time. You need to take notice if you are experiencing any other symptoms to know if you need medical assistance.
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