Persistent dried blood in one ear

A is just under 4 years old and has a mixed hearing loss of yet to be determined cause. She has had a bit of dried blood in one of her ears since April. Initially the doctor said it was there because she had had a perforated eardrum, but why is it still there? The perforation was never confirmed by examining the drum, they always tell us they cannot see it on that side due to wax. Some tell us getting the wax out could do more harm than good, others say that if they see wax they are instructed to assume the eardrum is fine. Does is really take so long for these things to clear out of the ear? She does take baths where she gets warm water in her ears (6 weeks from the alleged perforation to allow it to heal up).

She is seen by so many people who look in her ears, the ENT didn’t see fit to mention it at all and nor did the ENT clinic nurse. Looking it up, all I can find is that you should see your doctor (been there done that!) and that it can be caused by a scratch, spot or foreign body in the ear, or some more serious things. But it doesn’t say how long we should expect it to last if it’s any of those things.

For all we know the cause is all those people constantly looking in her ears, so taking her for another look in her ears could be counterproductive! Perhaps they scratched her with an otoscope once, but it’s been more than 2 months it’s been there. Both ears are pretty waxy but one has a large wax plug almost entirely occluding her ear canal now, but all she’s ever had for that is oil drops. Nobody has ever gone poking in her ear to get the wax, which is another listed common cause of bleeding in the ear, and we never put anything in there, no Qtips or anything like that, just the oil drops.

Does anyone have any experience with this? Could the blood seriously still be from April? There has never been any fresh blood come out, just dried, and a rim of dried blood just visible inside the ear. Next ENT is not till late July.

I thought this seemed like the best home for this question, but this forum doesn’t get a whole lot of traffic. I tried this in a children’s deafness forum but no responses at all in weeks. Please help!

I can’t help you. :frowning: But just wanted to ask…why are ENTs so inempt at removing wax from the ears?
One time, when my daughter was young and had a tubes in her ear, the ENT we were seeing kept having us come back because he couldn’t see if one of the tubes was still in her ear drum. Eventually, (after getting several pmts from the ins. co.), he told us to go to our family doctor and have him flush her ear out (for wax). Now, wouldn’t you think the ENT would be the perfect person to flush out an ear? I did take her to the family doctor, and if I recall right, the tube came out (it was due to have come out) with the wax.
I know “regular” doctor’s can’t see the eardrum well with their scopes, but ENTs should have the proper equipment. Another ENT I’ve been to had a set up where he could put something down her canal and see the eardrum magnified.

Good luck in finding out what’s wrong and I hope it isn’t serious.

If I am honest I am a bit concerned this is why they want to take my daughter in for grommets. They don’t seem that keen to do the actual grommets cos they don’t think that’s the main problem, but they want a good look at her with the operating microscope. They don’t have one outside the OR. I think maybe we should insist on a referral to an ENT that has an endoscope available to look in her ear, I’m tired of hearing “we can’t see anything but why not let’s operate on her anyway”. :mad::mad::eek: Will probably have to pay privately for that, but might squeak it through the insurance.

I know this sound silly but could she be further irritating it when she’s sleeping? Maybe putting her finger in her ear and not even being aware that she is doing it. A product I use called Miracell which I use as a lubricant for my molds also says it’s speeds up healing process. It does seem to work, for both.

Its common for wax in the ears of little ones to get in the way of visualizing the eardrum. Their canals are so tiny that even a small amount of wax can plug up the ears. Most kiddos that age won’t be as still as it takes to suction the wax out the way we would in an adult or teenager. If the wax is truly pluggin the ear, no matter what the ENT looks in the ear with (otoscope, microscope) they won’t be able to see the eardrum and possible cause of the blood. But it is entirely possible to have dried blood in the ear that long. If the wax can’t work its way out, the dried blood won’t either.

ITo be hinest, if it were my child, i would have them go in surgically to remove the wax and get a good look at the eardrum so they can really see what’s going on in there. Doing it that way is routine here in the states. That much wax is certainly impacting her hearing negatively and needs to come out. And finding the source of the dried blood is important also. Could be something simple, like just having scratched it without realizing, or something more serious like a busted eardrum…

I hope that helps!

dr. amy

Agree with you Dr.Amy. The reason for the dried blood and removal of wax is to be clarified on time so that the Childs hearing capability is not hampered.