How to Understand if the Ear Is Draining
When the eardrum is punctured, it is possible for fluid or blood to come out of the ear canal. Perforation of the eardrum means a rupture or tear of the membrane, often caused by the accumulation of fluid in the inner ear. Fluid or blood may drain in small quantities and it may be difficult to notice them. Learn about the first signs of a perforated eardrum and pay attention to drainage. In most cases, this lesion heals spontaneously without causing further damage, but you should visit your doctor to prevent possible infections.
Recognize the Symptoms
1) Evaluate the risks.
If you notice a sudden change in hearing, consider if it can be traced back to the tearing of the eardrum. You need to know if you’re running this risk or not.
If you have recently had an ear infection, especially in the middle ear, you are more likely to have a perforated eardrum. The pressure of fluid accumulation associated with the infection acts against the membrane, causing it to break.
If you have recently been subjected to some unusual loud noise, such as a noisy concert or a very loud explosion, you are more likely to break the eardrum. A particularly intense sound wave can cause a hole or a tear in the membrane.
If you have recently inserted a cotton swab or hairpin to remove something from the ear, you may have broken the eardrum.
Serious head injuries can also lead to this, as well as an increase in environmental pressure, for example during deep dives.
2) Look for other symptoms of the perforated eardrum, in addition to drainage.
Many times, in the beginning, the release of secretions from the ear is not noticed because they may still be deep in the ear canal. However, there are other symptoms that you can check to see if the eardrum is perforated, which in turn generates drainage.
If the membrane is broken, you should feel dizzy, especially when you move. When dizziness is strong, it can be accompanied by nausea and vomiting.
You may notice a slight loss of hearing or a buzz.
3) Look for the fluid that drains.
The liquid that comes out when you have the perforated eardrum can sometimes be light in colour, other times it may contain pus or traces of blood. You may not notice it as long as it stays in the back of the ear. For this reason, check the pillow for traces of secretions. Examine the outside of the ear, for example, the lobe, if you notice scales. Do not insert anything in the ear, like a cotton swab, to ascertain the damage; you could increase the risk of infections and external objects could carry bacteria.t 14 APRIL 2018
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Take Care of the Ear
4) Go to the doctor.
If you notice material coming out of your ear, you must visit. The perforated eardrum generally heals itself; however, it is important for the doctor to examine it to check for signs of infection. Your doctor will prescribe antibiotics to treat the current infection or to reduce the risk of it developing.
5) Evaluate other possible treatments, if the membrane does not heal by itself.
As already mentioned, the perforated eardrum almost always heals spontaneously. However, if the symptoms are not reduced with time, you should consult your doctor to find other solutions.
The otolaryngologist, the ear, nose and throat specialist, may advise you to put a plaster on the eardrum. It is a patch to be applied over the ear that releases certain substances that promote healing. The application can be performed in the doctor’s office; you will probably have to go through the procedure several times until it is successful.
In the event that the patch does not lead to satisfactory results, the otolaryngologist may recommend surgery. Most of the time it’s a simple procedure and you could be dismissed the same day.
6) Take care of the ear at home.
Once you get home, you can take care of the ear in different ways. Follow certain procedures to promote healing.
Keep your ear dry. Put a waterproof cap when you take a bath or a shower.
Do not clean it. You do not have to use cotton swabs or other tools to clean the ear until it is completely healed.
Do not blow your nose. The pressure created by this gesture can cause damage to the eardrum.
7) Submit to timely treatment when you have an ear infection.
Otalgia, fever, hearing loss and nasal congestion are all possible causes of ear infections. If you display any of these symptoms, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible; by intervening early it is possible to prevent the infection from causing the eardrum to break.
8) Protect your ears when you travel by plane.
Changing the air pressure that occurs in an air cabin can damage this membrane. You must, therefore, protect your ears in this circumstance, to avoid perforation of the eardrum.
You can buy specific earplugs at the pharmacy to balance the pressure; you can use them during takeoffs and landings to avoid damage to the eardrums during air travel.
You can also chew gum or yawn to “uncork” ears during air flights.
9) Do not put foreign objects.
You never have to insert anything in your ears. Use the cotton swabs or hairpins to remove the earwax only around the opening of the external ear canal. The hardened wax that is set deep down should only be removed with irrigation kits that you can buy at the pharmacy or by contacting a doctor.
10) Avoid loud noises.
Excessive noise is harmful to the ears. Not only does it cause fluid drainage, but in the long run, it causes hearing loss and other damage. Wear the caps if you are working in a very noisy environment.