Having blood coming from the ear can be alarming. Here are some of the causes.
Trauma. Having a pointed stick or sharp fingernail in your ear obviously can cause bleeding. This is called direct trauma. It is important to distinguish this from indirect trauma. This can be caused by a significant change in air pressure. This is called barotrauma. A basal skull fracture can also cause blood from the ear. Jaw fracture and dislocation can also lead to the problem.
Barotrauma. If the pressure on one side of the drum is significantly more than the other then a tear may occur. This can cause blood from the ear. Causes include scuba diving, climbing a mountain and flying in a plane. Usually the body compensates for the change by allowing air in and out of the middle ear through the Eustachian tube. If this is blocked then rupture may occur. Blockage can happen due to allergy, a cold or tonsillitis.
Infection. Middle ear infection can also lead to blood from the ear, particularly if the drum bursts. The air space is filled with fluid which becomes infected. It increases in quantity and stretches the drum. This causes pain and reduced hearing. If the pressure is high enough the drum bursts. This relieves the pain and blood and pus flow from the ear. The hole can take 4 to 8 weeks to heal. Hearing may be reduced if the hole is large. If it is small it is more likely to heal quickly and hearing is less likely to be affected. A doctor needs to check the drum for healing. It is a good idea to wear ear plugs to keep water out when you wash your hair. Water may damage the middle and inner ear structures.
If you have blood from your ear, or any other ear problem make sure you visit your doctor without delay. Please do not regard this article as medical advice.
Dr Toby Bateson for zenplugs.com/