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Symptoms 2023

Bleeding ear (otorrhagia): 6 common causes and what to do

Bleeding ear (otorrhagia): 6 common causes and what to do
Bleeding ear (otorrhagia): 6 common causes and what to do

Ear bleeding can be caused by ruptured eardrum, ear infection, barotrauma, head injury or presence of an object that has become stuck in the ear, for example.

Bleeding can occur in the outer, middle or inner part of the ear, depending on the cause, and may be associated with other symptoms such as dizziness, hearing loss or fever, for example.

Therefore, in case of bleeding in the ear, the ideal is to consult the general practitioner or otolaryngologist for an evaluation to be carried out, the cause to be identified and, thus, the most appropriate treatment to be initiated, avoiding possible complications.

The main causes of bleeding ear are:

1. Eardrum perforation

Eardrum perforation can cause symptoms such as bleeding in the ear, pain and discomfort at the site, hearing loss, tinnitus and vertigo that may be accompanied by nausea or vomiting. Learn what can cause your eardrum to be perforated.

What to do: eardrum perforations usually regenerate after a few weeks, however, during this period, the ear must be protected with a cotton or a suitable buffer when in contact with water. The doctor may also recommend the use of antibiotics and anti-inflammatories.

2. Otitis media

Otitis media is an inflammation of the ear, which usually results from an infection and which can cause symptoms such as pressure or pain in the area, fever, balance problems and fluid secretion. See how to identify an otitis media.

What to do: Treatment depends on the agent causing the otitis, but is usually done with analgesics and anti-inflammatory drugs and, when necessary, the doctor may also prescribe an antibiotic.

3. Barotrauma

Ear barotrauma is characterized by a large pressure difference between the outer region of the ear canal and the inner region, which can happen when sudden changes in altitude occur, which can cause damage to the eardrum.

What to do: Treatment usually consists of administering analgesics and, in more severe cases, surgical correction may be necessary.

4. Object stuck in ear

Bleeding resulting from objects that get stuck in the ear, usually occurs in children, and can be dangerous if not detected in time.

What to do: You should always avoid leaving small objects within the reach of children. If any object gets stuck in the ear, the ideal is to go immediately to the otorhinolaryngologist, so that this object is removed with appropriate medical devices.

5. Head injury

In some cases, a head injury caused by a fall, accident or blow can lead to blood in the ear, which can be a sign of bleeding around the brain.

What to do: in these cases, you should immediately go to the medical emergency and carry out diagnostic tests, in order to prevent serious damage to the brain.

6. Ear cancer

Although it is a rare condition, ear cancer can be one of the causes of bleeding in the ear, especially when it is a squamous cell carcinoma of the external auditory canal or a basal cell carcinoma, which can symptoms of ear pain, pus and/or blood flow and inflammation of the lymph nodes, in more advanced cases.

These types of cancer can develop due to prolonged sun exposure and chronic ear infections, which can result from diagnosis, improper treatment, or antibiotic resistance.

What to do: if you notice the outflow of pus or blood and intense pain in the ear, it is essential to consult the otorhinolaryngologist for a deep evaluation of the ear canal and necessary tests to rule out or confirm the diagnosis of ear cancer and initiate the most appropriate treatment, if necessary.

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