Medical questions & health advice by licensed doctors
"Is it unusual to have clear fluid come out of an ear after being treated for an ear infection? "
I had an ear infection, treated with antibiotics, now clear fluid is present in the ear.
Whenever you see drainage from the ear, it usually means that an infection is present, or there is an infection that is clearing. In your case, it is likely the latter, but you should see your physician to rule out something more serious, like a rupture. Ear infections come in two varieties (for simplicity purposes). Otitis externa is an infection of the out ear, or the ear canal itself. This type of infection often comes after swimming in a pool (also known as swimmers ear) and causes fever, some thick ear discharge, and significant ear pain. Physicians will often prescribe special ear drops for these types of infections instead of oral antibiotics which often are not necessary. Otitis media is a middle ear infection and is what we generally think of when a kid gets an ear infection. It also causes ear pain, but is not associated with pain upon moving the ear, like we see prominently in otitis externa. Oral antibiotics are given. Drainage from the ear can happen, but only if the ear drum develops a hole in it. In your case, clear fluid draining could mean that your ear infection is clearing, but that it resulted in a small defect in the tympanic membrane (ear drum) that is now releasing the fluid that was trapped. I suggest that you schedule an appointment with your primary care physician. I think that you need to have that ear checked out to assess for a tympanic membrane rupture. Book an appointment today!
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