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Dr. Andrew Rynne
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Article Home Ear Nose and Throat Disorders Ear discharge

Ear discharge

It is the discharge of fluid or pus from the ear which may be of varying degrees and color. It can be from one or both ears.

What are the Causes of Ear Discharge?

The cause varies from a simple allergy to a tumor in the ear. Some of the causes are as follows:


  • Bacterial infections of the outer ear
  • Fungal infection
  • Allergy
  • Tumors of the ear
  • Viral infections of the ear drum

When to see a Doctor?

  • When the discharge is associated with pain
  • When it is greenish or yellow or black colored
  • When it is associated with swelling
  • When there is decrease in hearing
  • When there is discharge of bony particles

What are the Treatment options?

  • Medical – Anti inflammatory drugs are the main stay of treatment if an inflammatory condition. An infection requires antibiotics.
  • Surgical – Incision and drainage of the abscess has to be done if the pus has collected in a pocket. An extensive surgery is required if there is a deeper infection or a tumor. Key hole surgery is available at selected centers.


Do’s and Don’ts of Ear Discharge


  • Keep the ear dry
  • Use ear plugs while swimming and bathing
  • Clean the ear with a dry wick




  • Don’t use over the counter medications
  • Do not scratch the ear
  • Don’t poke the ear using sharp objects