21 answers

Ear Bleeding with Ear Infection

My nearly 7 month old son was diagnosed with an ear infection in his left ear 3 weeks ago. We were given amoxicillan first, then a week later no change, same amount of pus we were given augmentin, a week later same deal so they put us on cefdinir. 4 days later he starts tugging on the right ear so we take him back to the doctor. Right ear is fine but there is so much pus still in the left ear they decide to give him an ear bath mixture of peroxide and water. Ear bath irrigates some of the pus but not enough to really see how the meds are working since they cant see the ear drum at all. My son is still happy and active. He only gets cranky when its time for bed and when its time to get up. Anyway, later that night i see him tugging at his left ear and then he just starts crying like when he gets a shot! I move his hand to look at his ear and there is blood coming from his ear with a little pus. Its almost as if he found something to stick in there while i wasnt looking, but i looked around and I cant see what he might have used. We are already on antibiotics and ear drops. He went to sleep 10 minutes later and Its 2 30 am what should I do? What could have happened?

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Had our ENT appointment today. Doc vacuumed out a pretty icky looking glob of thick puss. He said that the ear drum wasnt torn and it didnt have any holes in it. The blood probably was from the walls of the canal being dry after the ear bath (peroxide dries things out) and all the manipulation to the ear that day. Also said that the ear didnt look actively infected anymore but there was still some fluid behind the eardrum. He said it was common for fluid to remain for a few weeks after the infection was gone. He prescribed the amoxicillan again but only once a day this time to make sure the ear didnt get infected again until the fluid drained. Made a follow up appointment for three weeks to make sure everything is going ok. Right ear still looks good. Thanks so much for everyones help and suggestions. More than anything its helped keep me calm lol.

Featured Answers

I recommend Cranial Osteopathy or CranioSacral Therapy. The first ended my daughter's constant ear infections at 18 months of age and the second is very similar. It gets the air flowing better in there just like ear tubes do.

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Definitely call the doc. A bad ear infection can rupture the eardrum. This can cause hearing loss. Dont wait.

Dear Neesha,

So sorry it's a weekend - I hope you are able to get baby to the doctor to get his ear looked at. The first thing I thought when I read your post was that his eardrum had ruptured. It seems the other ladies think so too. Don't be too surprised if the doctor recommends putting a tube in his ear. Sometimes they do that if they know that antibiotics aren't working.

Good luck!

Hi N.,

It sounds like a ruptured ear drum. It's very painful when it happens, but then, the pain goes away because the pressure is relieved. You might need a different type of ear drops and they'll want to monitor it to make sure the tear closes. There are ways to fix it if it doesn't close on it's own, but most do. I'd call his ped in the morning or take him to an urgent care to make sure that's what it is. In the mean time, try to keep it dry (no bath or hair washing and I'd probably skip the drops) until you get it checked.

Good luck and I hope he feels better soon!

sounds like the ear drum burst. call your doctor. Just a side note if he gets infections alot you may want to look in to tubes my daughter had them around a year and hasnt had one infection since and she was getting them once a month! good luck talk to your doctor he needs to be seen again for the bleeding

It sounds like his ear drum may have ruptured. This sounds worse than it really is. It happened to me one time in high school. It hurt when it happened but ultimately ended up releasing the pressure behind the ear drum and ended up being the beginning of the end of an ear infection that had lasted months. My hearing is fine now, apparently this is not that uncommon even though it sounds awful.

Dear N.,

This same thing happened with my youngest (who is now 8 ) when she as a baby. She had always had problems with her left ear, sinus and eye getting infected, and antibiotics just don't always work. One morning, I awoke to find a small pool of blood on her pillow and freaked out! Took her to the ER, it was just a perferated ear drum. That's actually a very good thing. It means the pus can finally drain out and she can heal now.
"In the good old days", Dr.s used to use a needle and pop it themselves so it could drain, in the days before antibiotics, but they won't let them do that now.

When she was 2 1/2, I finally eliminated all sugar and white flour from her diet, and the
problem went away!

Also, do not ever give her fruit juice in her bottle and let her lay down with it. the sugars can seep through the eustachian tube and sit in her ear and cause the bacteria to multiply and giver her the infection.

Hope that helps!
Good Luck!

I didnt read through the other responses but it sounds like his eardrum ruptured. Call your doctor. When an eardrum ruptures (and then heals) it leaves behinds some scarring. After a particularly bad rupture or a series of ruptures, hearing loss can occur. Call your doc, let him know what happened and see what he recommends. Your baby is too little but I know with older kids, they take a decongestant to relieve some of the pressure on the eardrum.

I recommend Cranial Osteopathy or CranioSacral Therapy. The first ended my daughter's constant ear infections at 18 months of age and the second is very similar. It gets the air flowing better in there just like ear tubes do.

It sounds like his eardrum burst. My son has had this happen 3 times. The way my doctor explained it, the antibiotics weren't doing the trick and that is God's way of helping to relieve the pressure. It's not a big deal just keep it clean and dry and when you bathe him just put a piece of cotton ball w/ a little vaseline on it to keep water out of his ear. He will probably feel alot better this morning and not be tugging on his ear.

my Mom always put warm castor oil in my ears, and the infection would be gone in about 2-3 days. Never an antibiotic involved. It sounds like they are trial and erroring. Get some castor oil, warm it under the faucet and put a drop or 2 in his infected ear. Then put a little piece of cotton to hold it in. Not so small that it can get stuck, though. Good luck and God Bless.

our God daughter had that happen to her, I freaked out and took her to ER in the middle of the night. They looked at me like I was crazy, I guess raptured ear drum is not that big of a deal. Her hearing is fine now.

Hi N., I know that you are really worried. However, I have had this happen to one of my children before. One of them has an extrenly high pain tolerance and I did not know that he had and ear infection until the ear drum had already burst. Of course it scared me and I paniced. My Dr., whom I trust, assured me that it was nothing to worry about that it would heal fine within a few days and it did. He has no hearing loss and there were no other complications. This may be the case here.??He told me that this was standard procedure way back when. However, children today are placed on antibiotic to clear the infection and avoid all that pain. If he seems ok and not running a temp then he is probably ok. I wouldn't blame you if you took him back, I probably would, too. I hope your son is okay.
Best of luck and God bless.

Also sounds to me like his ear drum might have ruptured. This needs to heal correctly and probably will with the antibiotics. You must keep this ear dry and not let any water get into it and as previous person suggested, make sure the drops are ok in case his ear drum ruptured. A ruptured ear drum is not always a bad thing; it s nature's way of venting the ear and allowing infection/fluid to drain. When ear docs place tubes into the ear drum, the tube serves the same purpose as the ear drum rupturing. The difference is a tear in the ear drum is not even, and tubes are surgically inserted providing a nice even hole in the ear drum to "vent" it, thus relieving the pressure of infection/fluid behind the ear drum, keeping the ear drum from tearing on its own. I had a child who ear drum ruptured, the doc put her on antibiotics and ear drops and the ear drum healed nicely. Since your child has been on three different antibiotics and this happened, it might be the right time to see an ENT specialist. After the infection heals, you might want to have his hearing checked. I am not a fan of tubes in the ears, but sometimes they seem to help prevent the ear drum from tearing. No doctor can tell you for sure that the ear drum ruptured unless he/she can get a good look down the ear canal. If there is wax or pus or drainage present, one cannot see the ear drum. An ENT doc can "vacuum" the ear canal and get a better look at what is going on. I imagine your child will feel better today as the pressure behind his ear drum will greatly relieved. (If the ear drum tore) You just need to wipe any drainage from his outer ear. Do not try to clean the ear canal and keep water out of the ear. Some suggestions to help prevent ear infections from happening are, not laying the baby flat to take is bottle (or breast). Sometimes allergies cause ear infections or fluid behind the ear drum, so you may want to investigate this possibility. Hope this helps.

Sounds like his ear drum may have ruptured, All that pressure building up. He needs to be seen again, but this happened to one of my children & they were fine. He may even be feeling better, all the pressure being relieved. But a doctor needs to examine it tomorrow. But don't panic, he most likely didn't put anything in his ear, just the ear getting too full of pus.

Oops didn't even see that you'd taken care of this, LOL, I'm quick. My oldest ended up needing tubes and it was all good. So rest & keep us updated.

Hi there. I am a mom to 4 kids in KY. I have had ear problems with my eldest child. You need to see an ENT doc asap. They will help you with this. It sounds to me as though the ear drum has ruptures once it starts to drain. You definately want to resolve this as long term ear infections can cause hearing loss. This can happen without much warning. Look for a pediatric ent and go from there. I hope you hear good news but at least you will get the correct advice!!

I might even consider changing peds dr. SHame on them for allowing your baby to go in such a way for so long!!!! They seem rather unfeeling about it. As an adult who has ear infections they are very painful.

Best wishes.

I think you should call the doc first thing in the a.m. to check in and let him know what had happened. I bet the pressure got so bad that it did this on it's own or when he tugged...He must have gotten some relief which helped him go to sleep. Im sure the pressure is bad. My daughter had the same thing back in May, she was like 9 months and she felt so bad. She was so sick I was shocked it was just an ear infection and eardrum that had ruptured. She wouldn't even rest on that ear. She was miserable. We did the same, oral antibiotics but they also gave me antibiotic ear drops...we ended up having to get shots b/c the oral didn't touch it. I kept on the antibiotic ear drops also. We would go in, get a shot and sit for 20 min. to make sure no reaction and then come back 3 days later and do it again. We did this 3 times and after the 3rd it wasn't gone but doc felt like she was healing. Next check is was in fact gone. Now here we are back with another ear infection where the drum is bulging and has croup so it's been a fun fall break! She has had like 8 ear infections so we will go to the ENT in about a week. Anyway, one of the things they told me to do was to let her lay on heat pad on low on the infected side and it seemed to help her not only for the pain but to draw out infection. We also alternated Motrin and Ty. Hope he is feeling better and that he heals up real soon. Hang in there and keep us posted!

First thought? Second opinion! Find an E.N.T. (ears, nose, throat)and go from there.
Good luck and God bless.

I'm glad you're going to see an ENT Dr. He'll watch and wait and maybe eventually recommend tubes. Tubes are usually a good thing so don't be afraid. Also, some advice from Dr. Sears. Use the cooler weather to your advantage. Take your baby on walks outside a couple of times a day. The cool air causes them to decongest and keeps their ears and sinuses drained of fluid. They won't get a cold from being outside, it's actually the opposite. And don't over dress him or it won't help. Take tissues to mop up all the draining mucous (otherwise known as snot). With this advice we've had one one ear infection between the two kids and that was recently with all the rain we couldn't get outside much.


I would demand that he be seen by an ENT. Going that long on an antibiotic is not good for a child that age. Their bodies become resistent to the antibiotics. Take it from someone who has had to place tubes in both of my children's ears. My oldest son had the same ear infection for 9 months. I was out of work a lot and at the pediatrician's office at least once a week to every 10 days. After going for nine months I finally demanded that they send him to see an ENT. It was the best thing I ever did. The American Pediatrics Associations recommends referral to ENT for a child with prolonged antibiotic use or repeat ear infections. Pediatricians are not going to tell you this because ear infections are their #1 medical complaint and it's how they make money.

Back to your son's ear. It could be possible that with the ear infection on top of repeat antibiotic use the ear drum could have busted. That's what happened to my youngest son. It is an extremely painful thing to happen but my ENT told me it was also the best thing to happen even though you wouldn't think so. It's a good thing to happen because the whole in the drum allows the ear to drain the infection. Take him to your pediatrician, demand a referral, get your child seen ASAP and get him started on antibiotic ear drops which put the medicine right at the source of the infection. If you don't need a referral then just make an appointment with an ENT in your area. They may require tubes to be placed in his ears. I'm going to tell you that no matter how much of a nusiance that will be - the few hours that you take waiting to get tubes implanted and the 5 minutes it takes for the procedure - it's worth it. Your child will likely not have another ear infection again. I hope your little one is feeling better soon. Until you get in to see the ENT rotate tylenol and motrin around the clock so your little one can get some comfort.

If there's blood there is the possibility that the ear drum burst... DO NOT PUT any liquid inside the ear. It can get behind the eardrum and cause severe pain.

My pastors baby just had that happen. Well her ear was bleeding and she busted her ear drum. They don't know how it happened but they said she had an ear infection that they was not aware of, she didn't have a fevor, no tugging on her ear, no signs of an ear infection until her ear drum busted. I would go back to the doctor and get it checked out. God bless and I hope he gets better

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