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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4 Potential Pus Leaking From the Ear Causes

Disclaimer: The article does not replace an evaluation by a physician. Information on this page is provided as an information resource only, and is not to be used or relied on for any diagnostic or treatment purposes.

  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

    Pus Leaking From the Ear Checker

    Take a quiz to find out why you’re having pus leaking from the ear.

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  3. 3.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
  4. 4.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

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.Do you use a hearing aid or wear earplugs?
  • Q.Have you ever been diagnosed with diabetes?

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
    • 13% Pain in One Ear Canal
    • 6% Ear Fullness / Pressure
  • People who have experienced pus leaking from the ear had symptoms persist for:

    • 36% Less Than a Day
    • 28% Less Than a Week
    • 19% Over a Month
  • People who have experienced pus leaking from the ear were most often matched with:

    • 51% Swimmer's Ear (Otitis Externa)
    • 37% Foreign Body in External Ear
    • 11% Chronic Ear Infection (Suppurative Otitis Media)
  • Source: Aggregated and anonymized results from visits to the Buoy AI health assistant (check it out by clicking on “Take Quiz”).

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