23 answers

Ear Infection & Leaking?

My six year old daughter has her first ear infection since having tubes put in 4 1/2 year ago. We began a course of antibiotics last night, along with numbing drops for the pain. We gave her the drops late last night and haven't again since. Just a little while ago, her ear began leaking a yellowish fluid. I don't see that it could be the drops as it's been ten hours since we put them in. I don't recall her ear leaking like this with any of the ear infections she had when she was a baby.

Our pediatrician leaves his office at noon and hasn't returned my call I left a little while ago, so I'm relying on one of you mommas to tell me this is normal and nothing with which to be concerned.

Thanks!!

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thanks, everyone! The nurse called me back and said she's probably got a hole. Yuck. We'll continue antibiotics and then have a recheck.

Thanks again!

Featured Answers

I would say that 90% of the time that my children have had ear infections it has drained. There was never a problem, just the build up draining out. They were always much better once it had drained. However, I am not an expert so I would still call the dr. if I were you.

1 mom found this helpful

My son had tubes put in his ear in the middle of an ear infection. His ears leaked for several days but the doctor said that this was okay because it was that fluid that use to fester in his ears before putting in the tubes and would create an infection. Now with the tubes, the fluid could come out and with antibiotics, the infection would get better. It does freak you out to see it and my son's was bloody because the tubes had just been inserted. We have been lucky that he has not had an ear infection since then but it does happen to some children even with the tubes. My understanding is that the infection is not as severe because that fluid has somewhere to escape. Good Luck!

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

I would say that 90% of the time that my children have had ear infections it has drained. There was never a problem, just the build up draining out. They were always much better once it had drained. However, I am not an expert so I would still call the dr. if I were you.

1 mom found this helpful

4-1/2 years is a REALLY long time for tubes to stay in unless you had special T tubes placed. it sounds like she ruptured her tympanic membrane. if so, it will most likely spontaneously heal but i would still see your ent for this.

1 mom found this helpful

My son had a ear infection about a month ago and he had yellowish fluid leaking from one of his ear also. After a few days of antibiotic drops he was fine, so I think you don't have to worry too much yet.

Mom to little Joey (19 months)

1 mom found this helpful

I am a pro at this... we have ear infections ALL THE TIME, despite tubes 2 years ago!

The other mammas are right - the tubes are doing their job - and the discharge is normal - although gross! You can GENTLY clean the outer ear with a Damp q-tip - BUT NOT THE INSIDE... to clean away some of the mess. It will dry up and be even worse if you don't.

Also - if her ears are pierced - make sure that you keep that area clean.

Good Luck!

J.

1 mom found this helpful

M....The leaking is the infection! It is coming out of the ear thanks to the tubes. There is nothing wrong with it, it is perfectly normal. The antibiotic drops you put in her ears help break up the infection so it can drain out. That is great news that it has been 4.5 years since her tubes...and no ear infections! My son is 18 months, we had his tubes put in at 9 months, and he had an ear infection at about 15 months.

She should be feeling great soon!

1 mom found this helpful

Are her tubes still in her ears? If so, I think this is supposed to be normal. As our ENT explained it to us, this is what normally happens when a child has ear tubes...and both the reason it's easy to tell they have an ear infection and the reason it's easy to treat. The yellowish stuff is the same stuff that used to fill your child's ear when she had an ear infection before...but it couldn't get out, which is why her ear would be full of fluid and painful. Now the fluid can drain out through the same hole that the antibiotic can go in. I would call your pediatrician tomorrow...if the fluid keeps leaking out after a certain amount of time they'll probably want to do something different. But I wouldn't worry in the meantime.

1 mom found this helpful

It's actually the pus/infection that's leaking out instead of building up inside. It's a good sign. Just put a cotton ball in her ear to catch the fluid.

1 mom found this helpful

My son had tubes put in his ear in the middle of an ear infection. His ears leaked for several days but the doctor said that this was okay because it was that fluid that use to fester in his ears before putting in the tubes and would create an infection. Now with the tubes, the fluid could come out and with antibiotics, the infection would get better. It does freak you out to see it and my son's was bloody because the tubes had just been inserted. We have been lucky that he has not had an ear infection since then but it does happen to some children even with the tubes. My understanding is that the infection is not as severe because that fluid has somewhere to escape. Good Luck!

1 mom found this helpful

I woul call your ENT and have her checked out - it can mean that her eardrum burst - which usually heals itself, but still needs to be checked. I would err on the side of caution on this one. Hopefully it is nothing major.

1 mom found this helpful

Her eardrum may have ruptured from the pressure, and you are probably just seeing the fluid leaking out. Usually it's pretty painful when it ruptures but then it gets better b/c the pressure is relieved. She may not have had as much pain though if she is on the numbing drops. I hope that she feels better soon!

1 mom found this helpful

the drainage in just the infection middle ear fluid leaking out it's not that big of a deal. But it might block the antibiotics from getting in there. Our ENT told us to very carefully take a Q-tip nd place it in the very outer opening of the ear to soak up some of the fluid so the antibiotics can get in there
hth
J.

1 mom found this helpful

My 18 mo daughter had tubes put in at 9 months, and she has had a couple of ear infections since then. I called the dr. the first time her ears leaked fluid - basically, the tubes are doing their job by letting the infection drain rather than build up inside the ear. Once there was so much drainage they had to suction it out (unpleasant experience). If they seem to be draining well, keep up with the drops. Just keep an eye out to make sure suctioning isn't needed. If your pediatrician doesn't call you back, try reaching the doctor's office that did her surgery. I'm sure it's normal, but it's always so much more reassuring to hear it from a doctor, too! Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful

My son is same thing just keep the ear drops and the leaking is normal is just nasty the ear drops actually clear them up and it will be back to normal in few days.

S. L.

1 mom found this helpful

I would still call the doctor when you can, but it sound like infection that burst and is leaking.....just like a cyst that is infected, and finally bursts....which is a good thing. The last really bad one that I personally had like that, my doctor advised me to put hot, wet towels right under and behind my ear to help speed the process along. I don't remember any leaking, but I definitely knew when the infection burst, and it was such a relief! Again, though, definitely call the doctor. It's better to be safe than sorry.

1 mom found this helpful

HI,

The yellowish fluid is drainage from the the infection. You do want that to come out. Since she is on antibiotics, it should heal up soon.

God bless! J.

1 mom found this helpful

When our 2nd child had an ear infection 4 years ago and his ear leaked yellowish fluid, the ear drum had ruptured. Our pediatrition stated that it was the body's way of making it's own tube. We were given an antibiotic drop and changed his oral antitiotic, it cleared up and though he had other ear infections never another one that ruptured.
hope this helps!

1 mom found this helpful

My daughter recently had a severe ear infection, so bad it burst her eardrum. Sounds like that is what happened to your little girl. It was a yellowish semi-thick fluid/gunk. Her ped. gave us a prescription for some steroid drops with an antibiotic in them to keep her inner ear from getting infected while exposed. You may want to call the oncall nurse and they may be able to give you the prescription over the phone. I would not put anything else (the ear drops you are using) into her ear, because they will be going inside the protective layer that most likely burst.

1 mom found this helpful

My son got an ear infection last spring, and his ears did the same thing. He has tubes as well, and they had leaked a little before, but never like this. We were literally having to change his sheets every morning because they would leak so much when he slept at night. I called the doctor who said it was just part of the infection, and they did clear up after about a week on antibiotics. Don't worry, this appears to be normal. Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful

When that happened to my son, I totally freaked out!! I called the doctor thinking that my son's eardrum had burst and that he'd need surgery or something. However, the nurse said that it's actually a sign of healing and that as long as he wasn't in severe pain with the leaking, there was nothing to worry about.

1 mom found this helpful

Get your child adjusted!! It sounds like the tubes are not working! I am a chiropractor and I have treated a lot of children for ear infections. If the top vertebrae in the neck is out of place the ears can not drain properly and your child will continue to have infections. Take your child to a chiropractor. You will be very glad you did!! If you have any questions or would like more information, please don't hesitate to call me at ###-###-####. Thanks! Dr. Sandra S.

I spoke to one of my friends that just went through this experience with her 2 year old daughter and she said that there should not be concern if the fluid is not in a large amount. This is normal since the tubes are supposed to extract this fluid and prevent build which leads to ear infections. Hope this info was helpful!

Did the ear pain go away when the fluid started leaking? If so, the ear drum may have ruptured and relieved itself of pressure which would result in the disappearance of pain. If there is still pain present, it's possible that she had "swimmers ear". Most commonly seen in frequent swimmers, the water buildup that results in this type of infection can happen at bath time also. (Just went through it with my son.) Treatment for each is different and would take a doctor's visit to be properly diagnosed.

Be thankful that the ears are draining. The tubes are not plugged and the "yuck" can drain. I have done the ear infection dance for almost 10 years now. We have gone through two sets of tubes. Both times the tubes got plugged up with the gunk in the ears and would not drain and the infection got worse. We have since had to replace an eardrum and may have to do that again - because of ear infections for so many years. We recently had the adenoids removed to hopefully alleviate the pressure on the Eustachian tubes.

Now, one thing that was discovered (at least published in the Medical Journals) several years into our battle is that if the child (or whom ever is suffering from the ear infection) is given something to dry up the runny nose, that often accompanies an ear infection, it can acutally prolong the ear infection because it also thickens the fluid and gunk in the ear making it much harder to drain.

Wait a minute, I just reread your post. Does your daughter still have tubes after 4 and a half years? If so, refer to above. If not, then the pus and gunk that is causing the infection is draining. It could be weeping through the eardrum or it could be that the eardrum has burst. If the eardrum has burst, do NOT put anything in the ears. My son is still missing a large portion of his left eardrum and cannot get anything in his ears or run the infection of permanent deafness. I would suggest you make her an appointment to ensure that the tubes have not burst. Of course this is if she no longer has tunes.

Good luck to you. I hope your daughter gets well soon and with no complications.

L.

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