ZocdocAnswersWhy is my ear bleeding?

Question

Why is my ear bleeding?

I am 19 years old, male, and deaf in one ear. Due to a series of ear infections, my right eardrum collapsed and had to be surgically removed. Now, every few months or so, there is a copious amount of wax and blood in my right ear that is incredibly annoying to clean.

Answer

This is a concerning symptom. I would strongly recommend that you follow up with a local Ear Nose Throat Surgeon. ENT surgeons are the best to follow up regarding this. This is not normal after a surgery that you describe and therefore may indicate some abnormality. The most common cause of bleeding is inflammation. Inflammation can be caused by multiple problems. On that can be concerning is that your are continuing to have infections. Infections can occur within the ear drum (otitis media) as well as otitis externa (outside the ear drum). Given your altered (surgically changed) anatomy -- this can be a worse infection. Infections can also form abscesses (a ball of infection) that subsequently can cause severe problems including menigitis (brain infection). An ENT can evaluate for this. Another common cause of bleeding is actually trauma. Cleaning one's ear with a Q-tip or other device can be dangerous and problematic. There are many different methods to clear the ears without the mechanical trauma. See an ENT. There are also various wax therapies (emulsifying agents that break up the wax) that can be used without this. Another concern is a problem after the surgery. Talk to an ENT. This is concerning and not normal. Good luck!

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