Bleeding from Ear: Causes and Home Remedies

Bleeding from the ears

Ear bleeding, also known as otorrhea, is the fluid discharge from the ears that contains blood. Sometimes the drainage contains wax, pus along with the blood.

Bleeding from the ears does not always mean the blood is coming from the ears. It could stem from other parts or bones of the body. A couple of blood drops from the ear may not be a serious condition, but if it is accompanied by the symptoms like dizziness, hearing loss and pain, you should call your doctor immediately.

The human body depends on the three sections of the ear: the inner ear, the middle ear, and the outer ear. These parts help you hear the sound and maintain the balance. The ears serve as a major tool in our day-to-day life, and hence bleeding from the ears could be a major cause for concern.

Whether it is a few drops or a constant trickle of blood from the ears, it is important to know the underlying causes. In this article, we will see common reasons behind the blood discharge from the ear and home remedies to control the bleeding.

Ear Bleeding Causes: 7 Reasons behind the Bleeding Ears

The causes of ear bleeding range from minor cuts and abrasion to the serious health condition. Following are the leading causes of blood drainage from the ear:

1. Ruptured Eardrum

Situations or things that can cause a ruptured eardrum are foreign objects, loud sounds, infections, or sudden changes in air pressure. Changes in air pressure include hand slaps to the ear. A ruptured eardrum does not always result in ear bleeding. Minor ruptures can go unnoticed and heal on its own.

2. Skull Fracture

Ear bleeding can happen when the base of the skull is fractured. Bleeding due to skull fracture usually comes with CSF leak out of the ear (otorrhea) and nose (rhinorrhea). Bleeding is going to happen if there is a rupture in a blood vessel.

3. Foreign Body or Objects

Foreign bodies or materials in the ear can cause the bleeding. It is when an object punctures the ear drum or breaks the skin. These objects include cotton swabs, writing utensils, matchsticks, etc. In the cases of children, objects include small toys, beads, or food.

4. Hemorrhagic Fever

This concern came from the recent outbreak of Ebola. Ear bleeding happens during the late stage of the fever. The virus breaks down the blood vessels. Bleeding from several orifices happen which includes the ears (1).

5. Otic Polyp

It is a benign growth on the outer ear canal or eardrum. It is the leading cause of constant irritation that could lead to chronic infections. The bleeding ear is not a common symptom of this polyp. It occurs from contact with a foreign object.

6. Malignant Otitis Media

Malignant Otitis Media, also known as swimmer’s ear, is an infection of the outer ear. It does not commonly come with bleeding from the ears. The bleeding happens in extreme conditions. Bleeding from extreme conditions occurs when the infection extends to the bones of the skull.

7. Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation (DIC)

DIC is a disorder where blood clots happen abnormally. It can occur with inflammation. Ear bleeding is an uncommon symptom.

Symptoms Associated with Ear Bleeding

Trying to figure out the cause of ears bleeding involves documenting other symptoms. Mild to severe symptoms should be observed. Those symptoms include the following:

  • Weakness in face
  • Fever
  • Buzzing sound in ears
  • Pain in ears
  • Headache
  • Loss of hearing

Visit a doctor right way when there is a significant amount of blood or bleeding does not stop. Visit the emergency room when one or more of these happens:

  • Hearing problems
  • Headaches
  • Ear pain
  • Dark circles under the eyes
  • Discharge from ears with strong odor
  • Ringing in ears
  • Disorientation

These following symptoms require immediate medical attention:

  • Vision issues
  • Dizziness
  • Bleeding nose
  • Vomiting
  • Unusual pupil size
  • Severe exhaustion
  • Considerable amount of blood from ear

Home Remedies for the Bleeding Ear Problem

Mild cases of ear bleeding can go away on its own. Mild cases can be treated with a home remedy if the cause is known. Here are some home remedies to try.

1. Warm Compress

A warm compress helps alleviate ear pain. The heat from warm compress also increases the flow of fluid.

2. Steam Inhalation

Steam can help open the Eustachian tube and release any fluid blockage. It helps with fluid drainage.

3. White Vinegar and Rubbing Alcohol

White vinegar is an antibacterial agent. Using vinegar can treat the middle ear infection. The rubbing alcohol is a drying agent. It can help evaporate the fluid build-up inside of the ear.

4. Basil

This herb has antibiotic properties. It has many purposes. It can prevent infections and ease the pain.

5. Breast Milk

Breast milk has natural properties that can act as medicine. It can cure inflammation and infection.

6. Onion

The juice of an onion can treat middle ear infections. The recommendation is to use onion juice 2-3 times a day. Here are the steps to use an onion as a home remedy.

  • Extract juice of one small onion
  • Heat it to a lukewarm temperature
  • Drip two to three drops into the ear
  • Allow it to sit there for five to six minutes
  • Tilt head to drain the juice

Bleeding Ear: Precautions

If the bleeding is substantial or doesn’t stop, it is wise to seek medical attention. There are precautions to take to reduce the bleeding or avoid future incidents with the ears.

  1. Abstain from picking the ear with objects, such as cotton swabs, hair clips, and matchsticks. The ear does not need to be cleaned as the ear wax serves this purpose. It traps the dirt and microbes and moves it out of ear canal.
  1. Stop using earphones until the ear is completely healed. It is best to avoid using earphones temporarily even after the ear is treated.
  1. Use earplugs when taking a shower or swimming. Water getting into the ear can cause irritations or infections.
  1. Prohibit flushing the blood out of the ear with water or oil. Water and oil can make the situation worse. Avoid using oil to moisturize the ear canal until the ear is diagnosed and treated.
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Irene Entila

Irene is a health and fitness consultant based out of Albuquerque, NM. She was a personal trainer during the years of 2010-2013. She holds a Bachelors of Liberal Arts with a focus on creative writing from The Evergreen State College. She obtained her personal trainer license through Seattle Central College in 2010. Irene has been an athlete since childhood. She currently train and compete in ultra-marathon running and jiu jitsu. She started health writing in 2009 as a hobby through her personal blog. She believes that people can seek help from a trainer or trained profession to reach fitness and health goals. Though, people can learn a lot about them and promote self-sufficiency if they had affordable resources. By 2010, Irene started contributing to several health websites while completing her personal trainer certification and training for marathons. She saw how certain health variables affected her training and wanted to share this information with the public. Since then, Irene has written various articles about health and fitness featured on different magazines.