I have clear liquid draining from my ears

Posted by Gregory Tremblay @gregorytremblay, Jan 24, 2016

I have clear liquid draining from my ears, mostly from the right, and the canals show damaged skin. I’ve seen 2 specialists and neither thinks it’s a problem. They are surely incompetant, as the 1st I saw caused an infection in my left ear. The fluid feels like automotive break fluid. Do you have an opinion? Thanks. Greg T.

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Hi @gregorytremblay. I’m one of the Community Managers here at Connect. Unfortunately, we can’t provide any kind of diagnosis, but we can try to connect you with other people who have had a similar experience. I can imagine how frustrating it must be to not have an explanation – do you have any other symptoms? Any dizziness or fever?

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@rebeccamcroberts

Hi @gregorytremblay. I’m one of the Community Managers here at Connect. Unfortunately, we can’t provide any kind of diagnosis, but we can try to connect you with other people who have had a similar experience. I can imagine how frustrating it must be to not have an explanation – do you have any other symptoms? Any dizziness or fever?

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I haven’t had those symptoms. I can feel a tickle in my ear and have to
use a paper towel to collect any liquid in the ear. I need to do this
several times each day. I’ve been using Cipro without any success. When I
awake, any fluid that drained overnight dries and becomes crust in my ear.
My GP instructed me to stop cleaning my ears, as he thinks it is causing
the damage. Not true. Thanks for you’re assistance. Greg T.

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Hi @gregorytremblay. I wanted to check in and see how you’re doing since we last talked. Has your doctor been able to share any additional insight? Are you still experiencing the drainage from your ears?

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@rebeccamcroberts

Hi @gregorytremblay. I wanted to check in and see how you’re doing since we last talked. Has your doctor been able to share any additional insight? Are you still experiencing the drainage from your ears?

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Hi Rebecca.  The last word from my Doctor was “Stop cleaning your ears.”  It still drains on a regular basis and when it dries it becomes hard chunks similar to Salt but darker.  I’ve lost hope having something corrective done, and they say they can’t even test to see what the liquid is composed of or it’s origin.  Canadian Medical Care is in a huge mess.  Thanks for your concern.
Greg T

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@rebeccamcroberts

Hi @gregorytremblay. I’m one of the Community Managers here at Connect. Unfortunately, we can’t provide any kind of diagnosis, but we can try to connect you with other people who have had a similar experience. I can imagine how frustrating it must be to not have an explanation – do you have any other symptoms? Any dizziness or fever?

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Same problem here caused by food allergies, mostly fresh fruits and vegetables. My ENT physician said his wife has the same problem. Itching and drainage can be so severe that you can’t sleep. Your physician can give you a cream to clear this up.

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I have this problem, or at least it sounds the same. My ears drain a clear sticky fluid and are very itchy (worse at night). Sometimes tiny scaly patches form and peel off leaving tender areas. One doctor said it may be eczema and recommended lightly applying hydrocortisone ointment. It did not help. Problem remains after several years. Very frustrating.

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@papawg1947

Something similar happened to me just once. I have a profound bilateral heating loss, prone to ear infections and get ear checkups every 4 months or so. Over a year ago at one of the checkups I mentioned my hearing wasn’t as acute as it was and had drainage out of my right ear. It was a fungus “infection”. Other than drainage and itching and a little decreased hearing I had no other symptoms. There are 2 types of fungus, one of which is not visible under an otoscope and one which has physical signs. I don’t know which one I had. He didn’t want to use an antibiotic or steroid because they change the ph of the ear and decrease the good bacteria you need. He thinks there is a general overuse of antibiotics …..I happen to agree.

He treated both ears ( my left ear was itchy but no drainage) with providone iodine. Told me to use for 3 days (if I remember correctly) and I returned for a follow up in a week. Everything was squeaky clean….my hearing was normal, no discharge or itchiness.

Providone iodine is ototoxic according to a study in animals. This may be why he didn’t want me to use it for more than 3 days.

I am only telling you this to let you know of another possible cause and am not recommending the use of Iodine. My ENT wears hearing aids, is board certified and has won numerous awards among his peers in the Tampa Bay Area.

By the way, they used to call sticky ear discharge Glue Ear…don’t don’t if that term is still used.

I hope you get results. This is especially hard for anyone who wears hearing aids.

FL Mary

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@papawg1947

I have this problem, or at least it sounds the same. My ears drain a clear sticky fluid and are very itchy (worse at night). Sometimes tiny scaly patches form and peel off leaving tender areas. One doctor said it may be eczema and recommended lightly applying hydrocortisone ointment. It did not help. Problem remains after several years. Very frustrating.

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Hello @papawg1947, I would like to add my welcome to Connect along with @imallears and others. Sorry to hear that you've had the problem for several years and haven't found a treatment that works yet. I know that can be frustrating to say the least. Here are a few articles that might help you learn some possible causes.

Ear infection (middle ear):
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/ear-infections/symptoms-causes/syc-20351616
Swimmer's ear:
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/swimmers-ear/symptoms-causes/syc-20351682
Ear drainage: Types, causes, and treatment:
https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/324651

It sounds like you have seen a couple of different doctors. Have you thought about seeking help from an ENT specialist? If you would like to seek help from Mayo Clinic, contact one of the appointment offices. The contact information for Minnesota, Arizona and Florida can be found here http://mayocl.in/1mtmR63.

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@imallears

@papawg1947

Something similar happened to me just once. I have a profound bilateral heating loss, prone to ear infections and get ear checkups every 4 months or so. Over a year ago at one of the checkups I mentioned my hearing wasn’t as acute as it was and had drainage out of my right ear. It was a fungus “infection”. Other than drainage and itching and a little decreased hearing I had no other symptoms. There are 2 types of fungus, one of which is not visible under an otoscope and one which has physical signs. I don’t know which one I had. He didn’t want to use an antibiotic or steroid because they change the ph of the ear and decrease the good bacteria you need. He thinks there is a general overuse of antibiotics …..I happen to agree.

He treated both ears ( my left ear was itchy but no drainage) with providone iodine. Told me to use for 3 days (if I remember correctly) and I returned for a follow up in a week. Everything was squeaky clean….my hearing was normal, no discharge or itchiness.

Providone iodine is ototoxic according to a study in animals. This may be why he didn’t want me to use it for more than 3 days.

I am only telling you this to let you know of another possible cause and am not recommending the use of Iodine. My ENT wears hearing aids, is board certified and has won numerous awards among his peers in the Tampa Bay Area.

By the way, they used to call sticky ear discharge Glue Ear…don’t don’t if that term is still used.

I hope you get results. This is especially hard for anyone who wears hearing aids.

FL Mary

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Hi Mary – This made me laugh "By the way, they used to call sticky ear discharge Glue Ear…don’t don’t if that term is still used." – that's what my Dad used to call it in my ears and my brother's. I called my grandson's ear discharge "glue" and my daughter laughed, but it looks just like mine did – he's seeing the ENT this month because mild to moderate hearing loss is huge in our family, and we want to be sure he has every possible chance to overcome.
Sue

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