WHY IS MY EAR DRAINING YELLOW FLUID?
Ear discharge, technically termed as otorrhoea, is an unusual presentation of certain conditions of the ear. Ear discharge can occur regardless of the age and can be due to underlying causes ranging from a trivial wax accumulation in the outer ear canal to much more serious pathological entities. The character of the ear discharge varies among different conditions- from watery/scanty to thick and copious and often reflect the underlying pathology. Two conditions of particular importance with respect to ear discharge are CSOM and skull base osteomyelitis.
CSOM (Chronic suppurative otitis media) is a progressive type disease of the ear, characteristically manifesting as episodic or persistent ear discharge. CSOM, itself a vast and complex clinical condition, can arise from several underlying pathological risk factors such as longstanding sinusitis, adenoid and tonsil infections etc.
SKULL BASE OSTEOMYELITIS
Skull base osteomyelitis, the infection of the temporal bone, the skull bone harbouring the ear, the carotid and the jugular, along with the many nerves arising from the brain, is a grave condition, often in many cases arising as a consequence of untreated, long standing ear discharge leading to high degree of morbidity and mortality.
SIGNS OF A MORE SERIOUS ISSUE
In several instances, an unrecognized condition in the ear, can trigger ear discharge coincidentally with an event such as swimming, a water sport, persistent usage of ear phones (plugs), or a physical trauma to the ear. Though the symptoms cease temporarily these conditions often being progressive in nature, the underlying disease keeps evolving. Ear pain or pressure, especially when coughing or swallowing, is a sign that you should see your doctor immediately. Do not neglect, if you notice a change in the frequency or intensity of ear discharge.
- Keep your ears clean
- Avoid using cotton swabs
- Keep your environment as clean as possible
- Avoid using earplugs or earphones while sleeping
- Better not to use over the counter ear drops
Dr. Ananth Chintapalli
MBBS, MS (ENT & HNS)
Fellow in Skull Base Surgery
Consultant ENT & Skull Base Surgeon
For Appointments, Call: 040-4477 7777