What are the causes of bleeding from the ear?

What are the causes of bleeding from the ear?

Bleeding from the Ear

Bleeding from the ear can be quite distressing for a person. Many factors, including certain emergency scenarios, can cause someone to bleed from the ear.

Unless a person is certain that they do not have a minor cut, they should see a doctor to discover why their ear is bleeding and to receive the correct treatment.

When you see your doctor, they will try to figure out what caused the bleeding. They will also question you about any other symptoms you may be experiencing and attempt to discover any other indicators you may be experiencing.

Anatomy of the Ear

The ear is the organ in charge of hearing and regulating balance. The ear is split into three sections: the outside, middle, and inner ear.

The pinna or auricle, which is the visible outside portion of the ear, makes up the outer ear. The external auditory canal joins the outer and middle ear.

The eardrum is the membrane that divides the outer ear from the middle ear. The tympanic cavity, or middle ear, is made up of three linked bones called ossicles and a canal at the back of the nose called the Eustachian tube.

Sound waves are transmitted to the inner ear by the ossicles. The mucus-lined Eustachian tube controls the pressure in the middle ear so that sound may be properly conveyed.

The inner ear is divided into three sections. The vestibule and semicircular canals, two of the three components, aid in equilibrium. The cochlea, the remaining portion of the inner ear, includes nerve endings that aid in hearing.

What are Causes of the Ear Bleeding?

Ruptured or Torn Eardrum

A rupture or puncture in your eardrum can also produce symptoms such as:

Pain or discomfort in the ear 

hearing loss 

ringing in the ear a spinning feeling known as vertigo 

nausea or vomiting induced by vertigo

Some people will pierce their eardrums and not realize it until they have additional symptoms.

Infections of the Ear

An infection in the middle ear can also cause:

ear pressure or discomfort


balance issues

Sleeping difficulties


Sudden and sudden changes in altitude can induce ear barotrauma.

This can result in ear-bleeding from a ruptured eardrum 

ear discomfort 



ringing sensation in the ears.

Flying in an airplane or SCUBA diving can both raise your chances of developing this type of ear bleeding.

Foreign Object in the Ear Canal

An eardrum can be punctured if an item is lost or pushed into the ear canal. This can result in:

ear bleeding 



fluid discharge from your ear

hearing loss


Ear Cancer

Ear canal cancer is a kind of cancer that affects the ear canal.

Other symptoms of this uncommon malignancy include: 

ear discomfort or pressure


face pain or numbness

impaired or changed vision.

Injury to the head

A head injury caused by a blow, fall, or accident might result in an ear hemorrhage. This might be a symptom of a brain hemorrhage, therefore you should seek immediate medical attention.

Acute Otitis Media (AOM)

Acute otitis media is the main cause of bleeding.

It prevails an excruciatingly painful kind of ear infection. It happens when the middle ear, which is located behind the eardrum, gets inflamed and infected.

The following behaviors in children are frequently indicative of AOM:

bouts of hysteria and hysterical weeping (in infants)

gripping the ear and groaning in agony (in toddlers)

expressing dissatisfaction with ear discomfort (in older children)

When to See a Doctor for Ear Bleeding?

To ensure proper treatment, all cases of ear-bleeding should be evaluated by a doctor.

If a person suffers from ear bleeding as a consequence of a head accident, trauma, or sports injury, they should seek emergency medical treatment right once. They might have a skull fracture, significant head trauma, major ear damage, or a concussion.

Even if the ear-bleeding is caused by an outer ear infection or a minor accident, the patient should visit a doctor for a correct diagnosis and treatment.

Ear bleeding produced by a minor incision or the removal of an item from the ear may not necessitate medical treatment.

However, if someone has an object in their ear that they cannot see, they should seek the assistance of a medical expert to properly remove it.

Infection symptoms such as discomfort, redness, swelling, discharge, or fever necessitate medical treatment as well.

What are  Treatment for Ear Bleeding?

A doctor will identify ear-bleeding based on a visual examination and the symptoms that accompany it.

Imaging tests may be ordered by a clinician to confirm an ear injury or abnormalities.

The treatment for ear bleeding is determined by the cause. 

Treatments that are often used include:

Antibiotics for ear infections Ear protection from water and debris Anti-inflammatory and pain relievers. 

Warm compresses are used in hospitals for concussion and brain injury monitoring or therapy.

If a person has a cut or injury that is producing bleeding in the outer ear, they should keep the area clean and avoid picking at the wound until it heals.

More complex treatments, such as surgery and hospitalization, may be required in some situations of major injuries.

Is There Any Complication?

Ear bleeding seldom causes consequences, but the underlying causes of the bleeding can create long-term problems.

A ruptured eardrum, for example, might get infected. The eardrum acts as a natural barrier between your middle ear and bacteria, water, and other foreign things. You might get an infection if your eardrum isn't there to protect the inner workings of your ear.

A serious ear infection may infect the very fragile bones of your ear. If the infection is not treated appropriately, this might result in irreversible hearing loss.

The Bottom Line

There are several probable reasons for ear hemorrhage. Some of these may be troubling. If you are experiencing ear bleeding, make an appointment with your doctor. They can assist you in determining what is going on and why.


1. https://www.healthline.com/health/ear-bleeding#_noHeaderPrefixedContent

2. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320237

Dr. Nishi Gupta

Dr. Nishi Gupta is a ENT/ Otorhinolaryngologist. She has been a practicing ENT surgeon for last 15 years. Spent lot of time perfecting her specialization and in microsurgery of ear. Trained from Great Ormond Street Hospital for children, London. A highly proficient endoscopic and microlaryngeal surgeon. Has written a book on Endoscopic Dacryocystorhinostomy - A revolution. She completed MBBS from University of Rajasthan, Jaipur in 1986, MS - Otorhinolaryngology from University of Rajasthan, Jaipur in 1989 and DNB - Otorhinolaryngology from National Board of Examination in 1994.

 More FAQs by Dr. Nishi Gupta


Medtalks is India's fastest growing Healthcare Learning and Patient Education Platform designed and developed to help doctors and other medical professionals to cater educational and training needs and to discover, discuss and learn the latest and best practices across 100+ medical specialties. Also find India Healthcare Latest Health News & Updates on the India Healthcare at Medtalks