Dried Blood in Ear

Dried blood in Ear is a condition that comes when there is blood oozing from the ear and then it dries up. There may be some pus, excess wax, fluid mixed in the blood. The main cause of this condition is a perforated or ruptured eardrum, but there may be other causes as you will see later in this article.

The ear has three distinct parts: The inner ear, the middle ear and the outer ear. The middle ear consists of the eardrum and the three tiny bones referred to as ossicles. The middle ear is very important in the capturing and transmitting of sound waves. When the eardrum is affected, you may see dried blood in the ear canal.

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The eardrum, or tympanic membrane, is delicate and can easily be perforated or ruptured. This may lead to a loss in hearing. The eardrum is a natural barrier against germs which may enter the middle and inner ear. However, a ruptured eardrum can heal on its own, as long as it gets the proper treatment. Precaution is necessary to avoid infection while it is healing.

Dried blood in the ear can also be a sign of a more serious condition, such as head trauma or cancer in the ear canal. Whenever you see any signs of dried blood in the ear, especially after falling or having hit your head, you should seek immediate medical attention.

Symptoms of dried blood in the ear

  • There will be blood in your ear
  • One may hear some buzzing sound in the ear
  • There will be pain in the ear
  • One may feel a weakness in the facial muscles
  • There will be some headache
  • There may be an accompanying fever
  • There will be loss of hearing

There are some symptoms that may indicate the patient has a life threatening condition.

There are cases where dried blood in the ear accompanies other symptoms that may indicate a life threatening conditions, and should be checked immediately by a doctor. The symptoms include:

  • Bleeding from the nose
  • Loss or change of consciousness
  • Some dizziness
  • The patient will be unable to track with the eyes
  • The pupils may be enlarged or shrunken
  • The feeling of exhaustion or lethargy
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Excess bleeding from the ear, and not just some dried blood from small blood discharge

Causes of dried blood in the ear

The main cause of dried blood in the ear is a perforated or ruptured eardrum, which leads to an infection of the middle ear. However, the blood may also be due to trauma of the head or the eardrum itself, including other serious conditions as seen above. When you visit a doctor, ensure that you give any other symptoms that you may experience. Here are conditions that may lead to having a ruptured or perforated eardrum.

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  • An ear infection
  • Perforation caused by a foreign object getting into the ear
  • Extremely loud noises
  • Changes in altitude

There are times when the causes are life threatening conditions, which need immediate medical attention, and these include:

  • Cancer of the inner or middle ear
  • Blow to the head or any other form of trauma
  • Trauma to the ear itself such as a sharp slap, or from insertion of a foreign object

There are certain complications that may arise from having dried blood in the ear, or bleeding from the ear. Most of the complications will arise from the underlying cause of dried blood in the ear. When the eardrum is ruptured, it is a cause for concern since it acts as a natural barrier against germs getting into the inner and middle ear. Similarly, if the blood is causes by a blow to the head, there may be damage caused to the brain too, so you should see a doctor immediately.

  • If untreated, a ruptured eardrum can have serious complications such as:
  • Serious ear infection
  • Mastoiditis, which is the spreading of the infection to the bone just behind the ear
  • Permanent loss of hearing

Treatment of dried blood in ear

  • When the blood has dried, it may be difficult to remove the clots. One should use olive oil in order to softening it up. First put two drops of olive oil, twice in a day, and then remove the softened clots using a cotton ear bud. The ear bud should not be inserted deep in the ear to avoid further injury to the eardrum.
  • It is important to use antibiotic ear drops to avoid secondary infection of the ear. It is advisable to check with an ENT doctor before doing so.
  • Plug the ear canal with cotton wool when taking a bath to stop water from entering the ear canal.
  • Profuse bleeding from the ear will need the attention of an ENT specialist
  • Boils and eczema that may cause this condition should be treated
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