Zocdoc Answers

Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors

"Why is my ear leaking?"


My right ear has been leakign for two days. It's a clear fluid, doesn't hurt much.


You should go to see your primary care doctor. It sounds like you need to have your ear examined to figure out what is going on. There are two types of infections that could cause drainage from the ear like this.

See a doctor who can help

Find a Primary care-doctors near you

The first is called otitis externa, or "swimmer's ear." This is an infection of the outer ear canal caused by various bacteria. It can cause tenderness of the outer ear and it often leads to significant drainage which may become thick or develop a strong odor. It is typically treated with good ear hygiene as well as medicated drops that contain antibiotics to kill off the bacteria and steroids to reduce the swelling inside the ear. The other type of infection that could cause drainage is otitis media, or an infection of the inner ear. In order to cause drainage from the ear, the otitis media would have to be significant enough to burst the ear drum, allowing liquid to escape (alternatively, if you have a history of tubes or ruptured ear drums or frequent ear infections as a child, you may have a hole in the ear drum already). Otitis media is typically treated with oral antibiotics. Start by seeing your primary care doctor.

Zocdoc Answers is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.