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A member asked:

does fluid draining from my babys ear mean he has an ear infection?

2 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Russell Faust
Dr. Russell Faustanswered
ENT and Head and Neck Surgery 29 years experience
Not necessarily: 2 conditions can result in "fluid" draining from a baby's ear(s): the first is an infection in the ear canal ("otitis externa"); the second is an infection behind the ear drum ("otitis media") that has come through the ear drum and is draining. Some baby's simply accumulate some small amount of bath water in ear canal. If the fluid is not clear, or if the fluid smells bad, get to your doctor.
Dr. Irwin Berkowitz
Specializes in Pediatrics
Most likely: The fluid can represent a middle ear infection which either caused a perforation of the ear drum to release pressure or oozing of fluid through the ear drum. This is particularly suspect if the baby recently has had an upper respiratory infection. Less likely, the fluid can be due to an external otitis(swimmer's ear) where water collects in the ear canal resulting in inflammation and pain.

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What would cause my son's ear to bleed slightly after having swimmers ear?

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Dr. Cornelia Franz
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Last updated Jun 4, 2019

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