Bleeding from the ear: what are the causes and what to do


Many, when faced with the problem for the first time, have no idea what it means if there is bleeding from the ear. This condition can occur as a result of a number of pathologies. Both adults and children turn to doctors with this problem. There have even been cases where bleeding from the ear was diagnosed in newborn babies, as well as in elderly people who have never encountered ear diseases throughout their lives.

Most often, men suffer from such pathologies. There are even cases when the appearance of ear bleeding indicated a developing disease that the person did not even suspect about.

Mechanical damage

As a result of mechanical damage to tissue, both an adult and a child may experience bleeding from the ear. The most common mechanical damages include:

  1. Scratches and abrasions that can occur as a result of improperly cleaning the ears with cotton swabs. Such injuries most often result in the formation of a crust and do not require medical supervision or treatment.
  2. While cleaning the ears, there are cases when someone pushes a person under the elbow, and this leads not only to pain, but also to the appearance of blood. In such a situation, you should seek help from a doctor to make sure that the eardrum has not been damaged.
  3. Injury to the eardrum can also cause bleeding from the ear.
  4. Skull injuries. Such conditions are always accompanied by bleeding from the ear canal. If blood appears, you should definitely seek medical help, as the pathology is life-threatening.
  5. Hit. As a result of a strong blow, bleeding may occur in the ear. This is due to vascular damage. In such a situation, bleeding is prolonged, but not profuse. Need help from a specialist. After all, it is almost impossible to stop the bleeding on your own. Why does a teenager's ear bleed? Most often, when this question arises, the answer is hidden in elementary damage.
  6. Foreign body. This reason is mainly typical for small children, since they are the ones who like to stick various small objects into their ears. Unfortunately, in most cases it is not possible to immediately detect a foreign body in the ear. Over time, the item causes inflammation and bleeding. It is impossible to fix the problem on your own, so you need to contact a specialist.

Sources of the problem

Bleeding from the ear can occur for various reasons, but they can be divided into 4 groups. It may be due to:

  • mechanical damage
  • infectious lesion
  • the emergence of a neoplasm
  • sudden changes in pressure

Skull trauma

Trauma to the skull is one of the visible causes, which quite often leads to the release of fluid from the hearing organs. A bloody mixture may appear either immediately after the injury or after some time. Additionally, the victim experiences dizziness and headache. Providing first aid should consist of ensuring the victim’s peace. You need to lay him horizontally and call an ambulance. Before the ambulance arrives, if there is blood coming from the ear, it is recommended to insert a swab soaked in an antiseptic into it. Such actions are allowed provided that the ear itself is not injured.

The blow that hit the auditory organ is another reason for short-term bleeding. As a rule, it stops quickly, but there is still a need to contact a specialist.

Another common reason why ears bleed is a sloppy cleaning procedure. Damage to the eardrum when cleaning the ear occurs quite often. The reason for such mechanical injury lies in neglect of safety rules. According to statistics, ear injuries during cleaning most often occur due to the use of sharp objects. It is only possible to injure an organ with a cotton swab if someone pushes you under the elbow. If, after cleaning your ears, blood still starts to flow, but the wound has formed in the auricle itself (that is, the eardrum was not damaged), you need to carefully treat the bleeding area with hydrogen peroxide or another antiseptic. If the eardrum is perforated, you should consult a doctor. Failure to provide qualified assistance in a timely manner can cause hearing loss .

Damage to the ear canal when cleaning

This is what often happens when ear cleaning goes wrong, when a sharp object pierces or scratches the delicate skin.

Blood from the ears due to otitis media

Otitis is an inflammatory lesion of the inner, middle or outer part of the human ear, occurring in a chronic or acute form. In adults, this pathology is less common than in children. The disease develops due to fungal, viral or infectious etiology.

The reason why blood flows from the ears during otitis media is damage to deep-lying tissues. If treatment is not started in a timely manner, a complication may develop in the form of a purulent process . As a rule, before blood or pus begins to be released, the patient experiences other unpleasant symptoms:

  • temperature increase
  • throbbing pain
  • sensation of pressure in the ear
  • signs of intoxication
  • general malaise

If blood appears from the ear, the cause of which is otitis media, it is necessary to seek help from a specialist as soon as possible. Delayed treatment can lead to the development of meningitis . As a rule, treatment of otitis media is carried out with antibiotics.

Pus may also appear due to the opening of a boil, which was formed as a result of infection entering a microtrauma on the auricle . Opening a boil is accompanied by swelling, pain and fever.

Inflammatory process

Depending on its location, the patient may be bothered by various symptoms and the risk of bleeding depends on this.

Among the most common variants of the inflammatory process are:

  • Development of meningitis. Melinitis is an inflammatory process characterized by damage to the walls of the eardrum. At the initial stages, the contents that flow from the ear can be serous in nature, gradually it is replaced by bloody and bloody ones. In addition to discharge, patients are concerned about pain in the ear area, intoxication, fever, decreased quality of hearing, and a feeling of congestion.
  • Formation of a boil in the area of ​​the ear canal. The development of a boil may be associated with a local inflammatory process, a decrease in defenses, etc. An integral part of the boil is the hair follicle. An infection entering it causes a pronounced inflammatory reaction, which is accompanied by the formation of a small swelling with severe pain, pulsating in nature, increased body temperature, hearing loss, etc. The process is progressive. Only at the breakthrough stage, after the purulent contents are completely removed from the ear canal, the appearance of bloody discharge can form.


If a boil appears (inflammation of the hair follicle), the ear becomes red and swollen. A person may feel severe pain that radiates throughout the head. Once the boil matures, it may ooze blood and pus.

Girl at a doctor's appointment

Many people wonder why there is blood, because visually there is nothing in the ear canal. In fact, the blister is located in the depths, so it is not visible. The blister oozes pus and blood.


When bleeding comes from the ear, the reasons may be hidden in a developing infection. One of the most common pathologies is myringitis. The disease develops as a result of an infection entering the ear from the external environment or the tympanic cavity. In addition to bleeding, a person in such a situation is bothered by pain, tinnitus and intoxication. When the first signs appear, you should immediately seek medical help, as if left untreated, the disease can become severe.

Another reason why blood comes from the ear in adults is a boil in the external auditory canal. This disease can be provoked by various injuries and abrasions, which facilitate the penetration of bacteria that provoke purulent inflammation. With such a deviation, blood appears after the boil bursts. Before this, a person is accompanied by pain, fever, chills and weakness. Opening an abscess on your own is strictly prohibited.

Ear candidiasis can also cause bleeding, but only if the disease is advanced. After all, this symptom refers to severe complications of the disease.

Sometimes, if there is blood coming from the ear, the cause of this symptom is acute otitis media. Most often, before bleeding, a person is worried about fever, pain and purulent discharge.

Causes of bleeding from the ear

The condition when bleeding periodically comes from the ear occurs for several reasons. It is often associated with trauma. Usually such a case is noticed immediately, as soon as an injury to the ear canal occurs. Bleeding associated with minor damage can be easily corrected. But there are other reasons why blood appears in the ear.

Mechanical damage

Among the reasons that cause the appearance of blood in the auricle, mechanical injuries and damage are in first place. Typically, this situation is preceded by the following circumstances:

  1. After a blow or head injury, slight bleeding appears. They usually stop soon. Then the person experiences a headache, dizziness, and sometimes attacks of nausea.
  2. Often, blood in the ear appears when cleaning with cotton swabs. Careless actions lead to a rupture of the eardrum. This causes a small amount of blood or ichor.
  3. The eardrum is sometimes injured as a result of a strong increase in internal pressure. This usually happens when diving to depths or while flying in an airplane, due to the loud sound of a gunshot. In this situation, you need to visit a doctor, since in the absence of qualified help, hearing loss is possible.
  4. Trauma to the skull bones in the form of fractures always causes bleeding from the ears. The same thing happens when there is a blow to the temporal region.


Sometimes bloody discharge from the auricle appears due to inflammatory and infectious diseases. Due to the lack of treatment, the infection spreads rapidly. Therefore, after ear pain, high fever and malaise, purulent discharge mixed with blood appears.

Sometimes the cause of blood is otitis media, which is caused by a virus or fungus. In this case, discharge of this nature indicates an advanced stage of the disease and is a very alarming symptom.

Another cause of bleeding is polyps. Usually this condition does not manifest itself in any way externally, so it is difficult to notice it right away. In the case of polyps, the infection spreads over a large area.


Sometimes bloody discharge from a person’s ear occurs due to the appearance of a benign or malignant neoplasm. In this case, hearing acuity is significantly reduced, constant headaches in the affected area, and dizziness occur. Often neoplasms appear as a complication of previous otitis media, which occurred in a purulent form. Such tumors form in patients who neglect treatment.

Important! A malignant neoplasm that causes blood to appear is called carcinoma. It has the ability to grow to a large size. Because of this, the vessels become pinched and burst, causing bleeding.

Pressure change

People with hypertension often experience ear bleeding. The problem appears against the background of other ailments characteristic of high blood pressure. A person feels a pulsation in the head, and pain occurs in the occipital region. The patient complains of blurred vision and the appearance of... Dizziness often develops additionally, and the skin of the face acquires a red tint. Sometimes bleeding comes from the nose. These symptoms can be eliminated by taking medication that normalizes blood pressure.

Diseases not related to ENT

Very rarely, blood oozes from the ear when a foreign object gets into it. In this case, the tissues are damaged and bleeding begins. You can stop it by removing the interference from the ear canal.

Sometimes spotting appears after the formation of a boil. When it is opened, purulent and bloody discharge appears. The person feels a burning sensation in this area and pain.

The cause is also damage to the ear tissue by Candida fungi. With candidiasis, inflammation of the walls of the ducts begins. This causes them to become thinner and begin to bleed.


When an unpleasant symptom appears, people wonder why there is bleeding from the ear. The reasons may vary. Blood discharge may appear as a result of a tumor growing in the ear. A tumor can be either malignant or benign. Among other things, such formation is manifested by constant dizziness, pain and hearing loss.

If there is bleeding from the ear, the reasons can be the most catastrophic. One of them is carcinoma, which is characterized by a growth in the ear that is constantly increasing in size. Since, as a result of strong compression of the blood vessels, they rupture, blood is released from the ear. You should not delay treatment in such a situation.

Causes of bleeding from the ears

Bleeding from the ears is a warning sign that may indicate a serious illness.

The causes of bloody discharge from the hearing organs can be very different: mechanical damage, infectious-inflammatory and oncological processes.

The appearance of blood from the ear may indicate the following diseases:

  • Injuries. Bleeding from the ear can occur when the outer structure of the ear is damaged by a sharp object. In this case, the skin may be affected or an open wound may appear against the background of the damage. In the second case, if the infection gets inside, serious complications may develop. Blood not only from the ears, but also from the nose with a severe headache can be observed due to a traumatic brain injury.
  • Candidiasis of the ear. Ear candidiasis, which is caused by a fungus, can also cause bleeding from the ear. In this case, itching appears and deafness may develop.
  • Myringitis. One of the complications of otitis media is myringitis. This disease is characterized by the appearance of blood bubbles in the eardrum. When they begin to burst, the result is bleeding from the ear.
  • Otitis media Otitis media may also cause bleeding from the ear. Against the background of inflammation of the middle ear, pus is released along with blood.
  • Furuncle. A boil in the ear canal may appear due to a weakened immune system and a staphylococcal infection.
  • Neoplasm. A tumor in the ear is one of the causes of bleeding from the ears. They can be of different nature, so it is necessary to undergo an examination, after which treatment is prescribed.
  • This symptom may appear when pressure changes. This often occurs in people with hypertension when pressure surges are noted. A sharp drop in pressure can also be observed when immersed in water to great depths. In this case, the eardrum may burst, in which case you should immediately consult a doctor.

Danger signs

Bleeding from the ears can be accompanied by various symptoms, depending on the cause that triggered its occurrence:

  • If blood from the ear appears against the background of otitis, then the patient is bothered by throbbing and acute pain and ear congestion. In addition, the body temperature rises and pus mixed with blood is released.
  • When a boil forms in the ear canal, severe pain in the ear, hyperemia and swelling of the ear canal appears. When the boil opens, pus flows out along with blood.
  • Myringitis, inflammation of the eardrum, is characterized by symptoms similar to otitis externa: itching, burning, pain, discharge of serous exudate along with blood.
  • If bleeding from the ear occurs due to candidiasis, then a cheesy, white coating, itching, and discomfort are also noted in the ear canal.
  • Frequent bleeding from the ear without pain poses a great danger. This indicates a malignant process. In severe cases, the patient experiences severe hearing loss and an unpleasant odor.

It is necessary to take timely measures to eliminate not only this symptom, but also its accompanying symptoms, in order to avoid the development of possible complications.


If you do not take measures to eliminate bleeding from the ear, it can cause a number of serious consequences.

In advanced cases, the following complications often occur:

  • Meningitis
  • Development of hearing loss
  • Soft tissue abscess
  • Inflammation of the facial nerve
  • Inflammatory process of the parotid lymph nodes

With complications of purulent-inflammatory processes in the ear, the development of otogenic meningitis is possible. The patient's body temperature rises, symptoms of intoxication, headache, vomiting and nausea, Kernig's and Brudzinski's symptoms appear.

Hearing loss is characterized by weakening of hearing and at the same time speech communication becomes difficult. A more serious complication is an abscess of the outer ear. This pathology is characterized by filling the cavity with pus in the subcutaneous fatty tissue. Develops after infection penetrates into soft tissue.

With parotid lymphadenitis, the lymph node increases in size and becomes painful. The pain radiates to the ear and jaw. With purulent lymphadenitis, a lump appears behind the ear against the background of bleeding. The patient complains of severe headache, increased body temperature, decreased appetite, and poor sleep.

More information about otitis media can be found in the video:

To prevent the development of complications, it is necessary to consult a doctor in a timely manner and follow all his recommendations.

Pressure change

Many people wonder why there is blood coming from the ear and what reason provoked this deviation. Only a qualified specialist can accurately answer this question after a thorough examination.

This manifestation is often observed in individuals who suffer from hypertension. In this case, ear bleeding occurs as a result of high blood pressure. In this condition, bleeding is accompanied by headache, nausea, dizziness, as well as redness of the skin on the face. Why does my nose and ears bleed? The first step is to measure your blood pressure. This may be the main reason.

How to stop ear bleeding

Mechanical damage occurs as a result of bruises, as well as other types of skull injuries. This often occurs due to severe bruises, no matter whether it is a blunt or a sharp object. If an injury has been sustained, then it is necessary to assess the degree of threat to general well-being and assess the scale of the damage received. Even if the blood does not separate much, it is necessary to take measures. If you notice that there is bleeding from your nose and ears, then it is important to understand that the damage to your health is serious.

Do the following:

  • immobilize the patient to avoid an increase in blood pressure - because of this, the bleeding will be stronger, and overall health will worsen, and the patient should under no circumstances lose large volumes of blood - this is fraught with consequences;
  • if there is a wound, then we clean it, remove sulfur, as well as foreign objects;
  • when the wound is complex, it is better not to do anything, so as not to further aggravate the problem;
  • rinse the wound under running water, preferably with ice-cold water, as this leads to vasoconstriction, which will stop the bleeding;
  • apply a cotton swab dipped in hydrogen peroxide - this will stop the bleeding;
  • to avoid infection, use ointments that contain antiseptics and antibiotics;

First aid may vary depending on the cause of the ear bleeding.

You must not only stop the bleeding - you must find out the cause of this condition; this will require a consultation with an ENT specialist.

It is important to use medicinal herbs to stop bleeding from the ears during a bruise, head injury or injury. The most commonly used are knotweed, rowan, and nettle. It is worth remembering that if bleeding has started, do not use alcohol tinctures - ethanol promotes vasodilation, and this will provoke even more bleeding.

First aid at home

Even if there is not much fluid coming out of the ear, still take at least minimal measures to stop it. If bleeding occurs from the ear when cleaning with a cotton swab, contact a specialized otolaryngologist to find out the reason why this is happening. If the outer ear has been injured, then you should do the following:

  • moisten a cotton wool or bandage in hydrogen peroxide and place it in the ear - this liquid stops the bleeding;
  • make a not very tight bandage from sterile bandages - this will help stop the bleeding for a while;
  • Apply an ice cube to the wound - this will help narrow the blood vessels.

First aid

Regardless of why bleeding comes from the ear without pain or with it, everyone should be able to cope with such a manifestation and provide themselves with first aid.

If ear bleeding begins, the first thing to do is to block the ear canal. To do this, you can use a cotton swab. It must be pre-moistened in an antiseptic solution. In this way, infections can be prevented from entering small wounds.

Most often, such a symptom goes away on its own and does not indicate a disease (of course, if other symptoms do not develop along with the discharge). If bleeding from the ear canal does not stop for an hour or more, this is a clear sign that immediate medical attention is required. This manifestation may indicate the development of serious pathological processes in the body.

What not to do?

When a person has bleeding from the ear, such symptoms should under no circumstances be ignored. If such alarming signs appear, you should not warm your ear or apply a cold compress to it. It is also prohibited to rinse the ear canal with homemade solutions or other preparations.

You should also not try to clean blood from the ear canal using ear swabs. The only thing that can be done in such a situation is to take a painkiller and seek help from a medical facility.


When a person bleeds from the ear, only a doctor can find out the cause of this symptom. In order to make a diagnosis, a thorough examination of the outer ear covers is carried out in the doctor’s office and the degree of discharge is assessed, and the parotid area is also palpated.

There are situations when a problem manifested by bloody discharge from the ear does not have an ENT origin. If, after conducting research, it was not possible to identify the disease and make a diagnosis, and the symptoms persist, then in this case a surgeon is involved to find the cause.

Most often, the diagnosis is made on the basis of examinations performed by an ENT doctor. Also, two specialists can prescribe treatment at once, who will help stop the bleeding and choose the most effective treatment.


After making a diagnosis, the doctor will select the most effective treatment in each individual case, which directly depends on the cause that caused the appearance of blood from the ear canal. If a person is diagnosed with a hearing disease, then the following medications are prescribed:

  • antiseptics;
  • anti-inflammatory drugs;
  • systemic antibiotics;
  • antimycotic drugs.

It is not recommended to use any medications without first consulting a doctor, as improper treatment can lead to the development of serious complications.

If the cause is recognized as a benign or malignant neoplasm, then the patient is prescribed procedures such as radio wave, laser therapy, electrocoagulation or cryodestruction.

If blood in the ear appears as a result of injury, then the only recommendation is periodic treatment with an antiseptic. This type of injury does not require qualified treatment and, as a rule, goes away on its own. But the doctor makes the decision.


Everyone has long known that it is much easier to prevent any disease than to get rid of it later. This also applies to problems with the ears, which are manifested by the presence of bleeding.

In order to prevent the occurrence of this unpleasant symptom, you need to adhere to the following recommendations:

  • in order to cleanse the ears of wax and dirt, do not insert ear sticks and other foreign objects too deeply;
  • It is prohibited to replace ear sticks with any sharp objects that can pierce the eardrum.

Treatment of bleeding from the ears

  • Purulent otitis: taking analgesics, camphor oil, antibiotics.
  • Candidiasis: the use of antifungal drugs, both internally and externally.
  • Acute otitis: rinse the ear with saline solution, use olive oil as ear drops.
  • Rupture of the eardrum: rest, swab soaked in an antiseptic solution, fracture of the skull bones, urgently call a doctor.
  • Abrasions and scratches: treatment of the auricle with an antiseptic Furuncle Analgesics, boric acid solution.
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