Draining From the Ear

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Reviewed By:

Rohini R

Rohini R, MD (Ear, nose, throat (ENT))

Yoshinori Abe

Yoshinori Abe, MD (Internal medicine)

From our team of 50+ doctors

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People with these symptoms also use Ubie's symptom checker to find possible causes

  • Discharge from the external ear

  • Liquid draining from the ear

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Content updated on Jan 4, 2023

About the symptom

Otorrhea, or ear discharge, is any fluid that comes from the ear. It's usually caused due to infection.

When to see a doctor

Seek professional care if you experience any of the following symptoms

  • Fever

Possible causes

  • Otitis media

    Infection of the middle ear (area just behind the eardrum) by bacteria or viruses. Although the cause is an infection, risk factors include blocked nose, allergies and smoke exposure.

Related serious diseases

  • Perforated tympanic membrane

    A hole in the eardrum. It is usually caused by direct injury (e.g ear digging with buds or a slap to ear), but can also be caused by infections in the middle ear.

Questions your doctor may ask about this symptom

Your doctor may ask these questions to check for this symptom

  • Do you have ear discharge?

  • Do you have ear pain?

  • Do you have a fever?

  • Have you ever felt dizzy with ringing in the ears (tinnitus) or deafness?

  • Do you have problems focusing or a reduced sense of awareness in your surroundings?

Other Related Symptoms

Similar symptoms or complaints


  • Otorrhea: Pathogenesis, Diagnosis, and Treatment


  • Acute otitis media in adults


  • Ear infections


  • Turner JS JR. Otalgia and Otorrhea. In: Walker HK, Hall WD, Hurst JW, editors. Clinical Methods: The History, Physical, and Laboratory Examinations. 3rd ed. Boston: Butterworths; 1990. Chapter 122. PMID: 21250071.


Reviewed By:

Rohini R

Rohini R, MD (Ear, nose, throat (ENT))

Yoshinori Abe

Yoshinori Abe, MD (Internal medicine)

From our team of 50+ doctors

Just 3 minutes.
Developed by doctors.

Ubie is supervised by 50+ medical experts worldwide

Shohei Harase

Shohei Harase, MD


Kameda Medical Center, Japan

Yu Shirai

Yu Shirai, MD


Yotsuya Yui Clinic, Japan

Yoshinori Abe

Yoshinori Abe, MD

Internal medicine

Co-founder of Ubie, Inc.

Rohini R

Rohini R, MD

Ear, nose, throat (ENT)

Bayshore Health Centre, India

Seiji Kanazawa

Seiji Kanazawa, MD, PHD

Obstetrics and gynecology (OBGYN)

National Center for Child Health and Development, Japan

View our medical experts