Read below about pus leaking from the ear, including causes and common questions. Or get a personalized analysis of your pus leaking from the ear from our A.I. health assistant. At Buoy, we build tools that help you know what’s wrong right now and how to get the right care.

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A.I. Health Assistant Causes for Pus Leaking From the Ear

The list below shows results from the use of our A.I. Health Assistant by Buoy users who experienced pus leaking from the ear. This list does not constitute medical advice.

  1. 1.Swimmer's Ear (Otitis Externa)

    Swimmer's ear, also known as otitis externa, is inflammation, irritation, or infection of the outer ear and ear canal.

    7-10 days

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    fever, ear canal pain, ear fullness/pressure, jaw pain, ear pain that gets worse when moving
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  2. 2.Chronic Ear Infection (Suppurative Otitis Media)

    Chronic Suppurative Otitis Media is persistent drainage from the middle ear due to a damaged membrane. It is considered chronic when it lasts for more than 6 weeks.

    6 to 12 weeks or more

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    ear canal pain, pus leaking from the ear, hearing loss in one ear
    Symptoms that always occur with chronic ear infection (suppurative otitis media):
    pus leaking from the ear
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  3. 3.Earwax Blockage

    Ear wax production is a normal process, as the body makes wax to protect the ear from infection. Sometimes ear wax can build up and cover the eardrum, which is a thin layer of skin that stretches across the end of the ear canal and picks up sound from outside. Ear wax buildup has nothing to do with poor hygiene, and it is not possible to prevent a build-up by washing.

    Condition likely will go away on its own after 5 days without treatment. However, with pain, dizziness, or feelings of fullness, the earwax should be removed.

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    dizziness, dry cough, ear canal pain, ear fullness/pressure, ringing in the ears
    Symptoms that never occur with earwax blockage:
    swollen ear, fever
    Urgency:
    Phone call or in-person visit

    Pus Leaking From the Ear Checker

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  4. 4.Foreign Body in External Ear

    An ear foreign body is anything that gets stuck in the ear canal other than earwax. This may include food, toy pieces, beads, buttons, disk batteries, cotton swab, paper, or insects. Foreign bodies are usually trapped in the outer ear canal.

    Problem resolves after object is removed.

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    ear fullness/pressure, ear discharge, pain in one ear canal, bleeding from the ear, pus leaking from the ear
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  5. 5.Cholesteatoma (a Non - Cancerous Growth in the Ear)

    Cholesteatoma is a type of skin cyst that is located in the middle ear and mastoid bone in the skull. It can be a birth defect though more commonly occurs as a complication of chronic ear infection.

    Chronic, but curable

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    ear fullness/pressure, ringing in the ears, pain in one ear canal, vertigo (extreme dizziness), hearing loss in one ear
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  6. 6.Malignant Otitis Externa

    Malignant otitis externa is a disorder that involves infection and damage of the bones of the ear canal and at the base of the skull.

    Several months

    Rarity:
    Ultra rare
    Top Symptoms:
    constant ear redness, pain in one ear canal, ear redness on one side
    Symptoms that always occur with malignant otitis externa:
    ear redness on one side, constant ear redness
    Urgency:
    In-person visit

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Pus Leaking From the Ear

  • Q.Any fever today or during the last week?
  • Q.Do you use cotton-tipped swabs (q-tips) to clean your ears?
  • Q.Have you ever been diagnosed with diabetes?
  • Q.Do you often come into contact with hot tubs, swimming pools, or other sources of standing water?

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions, try our pus leaking from the ear symptom checker to find out more.

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Pus Leaking From the Ear Symptom Checker Statistics

  • People who have experienced pus leaking from the ear have also experienced:

    • 14% Ear Canal Pain
    • 14% Pain in One Ear Canal
    • 6% Ear Fullness / Pressure
  • People who have experienced pus leaking from the ear had symptoms persist for:

    • 34% Less Than a Day
    • 29% Less Than a Week
    • 21% Over a Month
  • People who have experienced pus leaking from the ear were most often matched with:

    • 44% Swimmer's Ear (Otitis Externa)
    • 33% Chronic Ear Infection (Suppurative Otitis Media)
    • 22% Earwax Blockage
  • Source: Aggregated and anonymized results from visits to the Buoy AI health assistant (check it out by clicking on “Take Quiz”).

A.I. Health Assistant

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