Ear Bleeding

Ear bleeding is a less common symptom, but if it is present, it usually leads to examination by an otolaryngologist. Most of cases result from diseases of ear canal and middle ear.


Rupture of the eardrum

Eardrum rupture most often occurs by middle ear infection (otitis media) that is not treated in time. By such rupture accumulated pus and blood spontaneously evacuate. This is followed by relief, but eardrum may be permanently damaged inducing certain hearing loss. Another reason of eardrum rupture may be a sudden change in pressure. This happens by pilots and divers and people exposed to very loud sound. The eardrum may be damaged also by insertion of long and sharp objects into the ear that can happen by little children.

Ear canal infections

This is an unpleasant and painful condition when usually bacteria invade external ear canal, i.e. connection between outer and middle ear. In addition to light bleeding, there may be a pus discharge.

Head injuries

Sometimes we find bleeding from ear after a head injury. In such case it is always important to think of basilar skull fracture. The patient must be transported in a stable position to prevent further injuries.

Ear tumors

Malignant and benign tumors growing in the ear canal or middle and inner ear may also bleed, but this is a very rare.


Drugs inhibiting blood clotting can cause bleeding from almost all organs and tissues including ear. This can happen especially by overdose of such drugs.

Diagnostic approach

Physical examination by an otolaryngologist is usually sufficient. The doctor can uses some instruments to visualize external ear canal and asses condition of outer eardrum. When there is a suspected head injury, imaging methods must be uses, e.g. computed tomography.

Jiri Stefanek, MD  Author of texts: Jiri Stefanek, MD
 Contact: jiri.stefanek@seznam.cz
 Sources: basic text sources