Ear Care To Hear Better
Ear discharge is one of the commonest symptoms of ear disease. It is seen in roughly about 10% people. It can be of different types and is associated with many conditions of ear. Watery type discharge can be due to irritation of the ear canal skin, allergy, fungal infection, but if it is seen after a road traffic accident, then we need to suspect that it is fluid around the brain. Plain sticky type discharge is seen if there is communication between middle ear and external ear, like hole in the drum (for long time, without any infection). Yellow sticky discharge is seen in case of infection in middle ear with communication between middle ear and external ear, like ear drum perforation with infection. Blood-stained discharge suggests there is granulations in the ear, suggestive of somewhat sinister ear disease, which in long run, if not treated, may cause complications like, infection spreading to brain, facial nerve involvement and infection spreading to inner ear.
Ear Drum Perforation
Ear drum perforation (hole in ear drum) is of two types: 1) Simple type, which is common and is associated with sticky yellow discharge, profuse in quantity, which starts after a cold or water going in to ear, and stops after taking treatment in a week or two. 2) Dangerous type, which is not so common and is associated with discharge, which is minimal but continuous, foul smelling and does not respond to treatment. It is sometimes associated with bloody discharge. If the ear discharge is associated with fever, pain, headache, giddiness, neck rigidity and facial weakness, then the disease has spread beyond the middle ear confines in to surrounding structures. This warrants immediate investigations and exploration and removal of the disease process, surgically.
Some of these cases are related to adenoid hypertrophy in childhood. Adenoid is a lymphoid tissue similar to tonsil, lying behind the nose and when it enlarges in size, can block the Eustachian tube, a tube connection the back of the nose to ear, and can cause ear problems. Some of the ear problems due to adenoid hypertrophy are ear block at the mildest case, fluid behind the drum, ear infections and then ear drum perforation and in most severe cases ear drum retraction and dangerous type of ear drum perforation or retraction.
Surgery for hole in the drum is safe and it involves stay in the hospital from 3 to 7 days depending on the type of perforation and the disease associated with it. Simple type requires lesser time for recovery, can be done under local or general anesthesia and most of the time the healing takes 2-3 months with return of near normal functionality in 3 months’ time. The more complicated cases require longer hospital stay, should be done under general anesthesia and healing will take up to 6 months and it may need lifelong care by ENT surgeons, as the cavity created while treating them cannot clear themselves and needs professional cleaning periodically.
Early detection and intervention at the earliest in these cases can prevent potential long-term complications of ear disease. So recurrent colds, mouth breathing, recurrent episodes of ear pain and decreased hearing should be evaluated by an ENT surgeon and managed either medically or surgically
At Ramaiah hospital we provide the best of the facilities and latest surgeries for ear discharge with standard success rate and care. We have one of the best microscope and other equipment with well trained and experienced senior ENT surgeons. With our experienced team of doctors, you can rest assured of the best care.
If you have ear discharge or hole in the ear drum, don’t ignore it, especially if it is a continuous discharge or blood stained. Please visit us and we will be able help decide the best course of action.
Dr. Harshavardhan Reddy