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"Why do I keep having drainage in my Left Ear?"

ZocdocAnswersWhy do I keep having drainage in my Left Ear?


I had tubes put in my ear when I was younger but since I was 18 years old I have had drainage from my ear on my pillow case at least once a week. It seems like it's just ear wax but could it mean something more serious? I'm now 30 years old so it's happened for about 12 years


Sorry to hear that you have been dealing with ear drainage for so long. First of all, chronic drainage from an ear is never a normal thing and should be looked at by an ENT (Ears, Nose, Throat doctor...aka otolaryngologist). I don't want to scare you into thinking that there is something sinister going on in your ear, because you may be correct in saying that it is just ear wax. However you say that you have drainage from your ear (singular), and typically ear wax affects both ears relatively equally. I would have to ask you more questions to get a better idea of exactly what is going on in your particular case, and that isn't really the point of this Q/A forum. Besides nothing I can do via the computer can match a good personal history and exam (including otoscopy: looking in your ears) that will be done at an ENT's office. In general, with a previous history of ear tubes, and a chronic draining ear, the ENT is going to want to rule out something called a cholesteatoma. The lining of your outer ear canal is keratinizing squamous epithelium (just the type of cells), which is different from the lining of the middle ear. If some of the keratinizing squamous epithelium gets into your middle ear (from a eardrum perforation, PET, etc) then it can potentially form into a cholesteatoma which can have significant detrimental effects to the middle ear if left untouched. All of this being said, I have no idea if this is actually what is going on in your case, it is just the worse case scenario that I would want to rule out. So bottom line is you need to go see an ENT. Hope this helps.

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