Ear Bleeding – Prominent Causes and Treatment

If you ever experience ear bleeding, you must visit a doctor immediately. There are various causes of this health condition. Some of them are serious and alarming. Your doctor can tell you the exact reason behind the bleeding. After diagnosing the cause, your doctor will begin the treatment.

The human ear

Before knowing about the causes and treatment of ear bleeding, it will be better to take a look at the anatomy of the human ear. It is the sense organ that is responsible for hearing. It also helps in regulating balance. You can study the anatomy of the human ear by dividing it into three parts: the outer ear, middle ear, and inner ear.

The outer ear consists of pinna which is the visible part of the human ear. The outer ear is connected to the middle ear by the external auditory canal. The eardrum separates your middle ear from your outer ear. The middle ear consists of ossicles and the Eustachian tube.

The function of the ossicles is to transmit sound waves to your inner ear. The role of the Eustachian tube is to regulate the pressure in your middle ear. The inner ear consists of the cochlea, semicircular canals, and vestibule. The semicircular canals and the vestibule help with balance. The cochlea contains nerve endings which help in hearing.

Causes of Ear Bleeding

There are many causes of ear bleeding. You cannot understand what the cause is until you visit a doctor. If the bleeding is from your outer ear, it is most probably due to a skin wound such as an injury or cut. If the bleeding is from your middle or inner ear, it can be due to some serious conditions. Let’s take a look at all the causes that result in bleeding from the ears:

1. Skin Injuries

Skin injuries such as a wound or a cut can result in bleeding from your outer ear. In this case, there will be no other symptom apart from minor pain. Skin injuries often occur when a person cleans out the earwax with a Q-tip aggressively. An infected or irritated ear piercing can also result in bleeding.

2. Head Injury

A serious head injury can result in ear bleeding. Head injuries can happen due to a fall or an accident. A sports injury can also result in serious head traumas. When a head injury accompanies bleeding from the ears, it can result in a concussion. The symptoms of concussion are as follows:

  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Confusion
  • Nausea
  • Dazed appearance
  • Forgetfulness
  • Irritability
  • Fatigue
  • Sleeplessness
  • Loss of consciousness temporarily

If you experience bleeding from ears after a head injury, you need to immediately call the doctor. If left untreated, it can be dangerous for your health.

3. An object in the ear

If an object gets stuck in the ear, it can result in bleeding. This happens more to children than to adults. Beads, candies, or toys can get stuck in the ears of small children without them noticing it. Small insects can also get inside the ear and cause bleeding. Ear pain is a common symptom. The pain will go away once the object is out of the ear.

4. Ruptured eardrum

The thin membrane that separates your outer ear from your middle ear is the eardrum. If it gets ruptured or torn, it can result in bleeding. Injuries or infections can result in a ruptured eardrum. The common symptoms of a torn eardrum are as follows:

  • Severe ear pain
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Ear discharge
  • Vertigo
  • Hearing loss

If you experience these symptoms, you must visit a doctor immediately. Rupturing of the eardrum is a serious condition which needs immediate medical attention.

5. Ear Infection

Ear infections are extremely common in children. They can also affect adults in rare cases. Ear infections can occur in any part of your ear. When the infection takes place in the middle or outer ear, it can cause ear bleeding. Other common symptoms of ear infections are as follows:

  • Redness in the ear
  • Swelling of the ear
  • Headaches
  • Fever
  • Ear Pain
  • Ear Discharge
  • Neck pain
  • Difficulty in hearing

6. Barotrauma

Many people experience a weird sensation in their ears when the altitude changes. Barotrauma is a serious ear injury that occurs due to rapid changes in the altitude. Activities like diving or flying can cause barotrauma. It can result in bleeding from the ears. The common symptoms of barotrauma are as follows:

  • A pressure in the ears
  • Ears popping
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Severe ear pain
  • Dizziness
  • Hearing loss

7. Ear Cancer

The rarest cause of ear bleeding is ear cancer. If skin cancer occurs on the outer ear, it can result in ear cancer. If people with serious ear infections do not undergo proper treatment, they can develop ear cancer in the inner or middle ear. It can result in bleeding of the ears. Other symptoms of ear cancer are as follows:

  • Severe earaches
  • Hearing loss
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Headaches
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Partial facial paralysis

A doctor can diagnose the exact cause of ear bleeding. If you experience bleeding in the ears due to a head injury or sports injury, you need immediate medical attention. If the bleeding is due to a minor injury or ear infection, you need to visit a doctor for proper treatment.

Bleeding due to a cut in the outer ear does not need medical attention. However, it’s better to take the opinion of a doctor if the ear pain does not subside. If you cannot remove an object that has got stuck in the ear, you must take the help of a medical professional to safely remove it.

Your ears are very sensitive. Therefore, you should never ignore any symptom. If you experience redness, swelling, ear pain, and ear discharge, you must visit a doctor.

Treatment for Ear Bleeding

Your doctor will diagnose the cause of bleeding after studying the symptoms and conducting a visual examination. He can also prescribe imaging tests to confirm the cause of the bleeding. After proper diagnosis, your doctor will plan a treatment for you. The treatment addresses the exact cause of ear bleeding. The bleeding will automatically stop when the cause is treated. There are various types of treatment available for bleeding from the ears. Let’s take a look at them:

1. Antibiotics

The most common treatment for bleeding of the ears is antibiotics. If the cause of bleeding is an infection, antibiotics can cure it. However, viral infections do not respond well to antibiotic therapy.

2. Painkillers

Various over-the-counter painkillers are available. These medications can reduce an earache and discomfort that occurs due to ear infections or pressure problems.

3. Watchful waiting

If the cause is a concussion or a ruptured eardrum, doctors often advise watchful waiting after prescribing a few medicines. With time, the symptoms will go away. After the bleeding has stopped, your doctor can tell you to report changes hourly. If needed, he can tell you to undergo additional treatment.

4. Warm compress

Warm compresses are one of the most common treatments for ear bleeding. You need to dip a clean cloth in warm water. Rinse off the excess water. Place it over your sole ear after bleeding. The heat will ease discomfort and pain within a few hours.

5. Protect your ears

It is not enough to take the medicines and follow the treatment prescribed by the doctor. You also need to protect your ears till your doctor says that the infection has gone. You can use ear plugs or ear covers to prevent debris and water from entering your ear.

6. Surgery

In case of a serious injury, you have to undergo a surgery. Unless and until it is an emergency situation, your doctor will not advise you for hospitalization and surgery.

If you want to avoid future complications, you must visit a doctor immediately for prompt treatment. There can be long-term complications associated with ear bleeding if it is left untreated. The complications include permanent hearing loss, hole in the eardrum permanently, vertigo, balance problems, constant ringing in the ears, and severe headaches.

Generally, ear bleeding resolves as soon as treatment starts. Therefore, you don’t need to worry about bleeding from the ears. Your focus should be on getting proper and prompt treatment. In case of a delay in help, you should basic first aid steps to stop bleeding.


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