Watery ear discharge or otitis externa is an inflammation of the external auditory canal, the opening leading from the outer ear to the eardrum. This health disorder occurs when water and dirt find their way into the ear canal and settle there for long.
Watery ear discharge mostly takes place in young adults and children who swim a lot. Therefore, the syndrome is also popularly called ‘swimmer’s ear.’ However, watery ear discharge is not exclusively associated with swimmers.
This condition can also be caused due to a rupture in ear canal wall, resulting in bacterial infection.
Symptoms Of Watery Ear Discharge
Watery ear discharge disorder can show up several symptoms. However, the most pronounced symptom of the disease is severe pain accompanied with swelling of the ear canal. The pain usually starts before the discharge and becomes excruciating at the time of discharge.
Sometimes, the pain makes it difficult to move the jaw and the head. As a result, patients find it very difficult to chew food. Some patients also complain of itching inside the ear. If the condition aggravates, the discharge is accompanied with a foul smell.
Sometimes the condition may lead to muffled hearing. Some patients even develop enlarged neck gland which makes it very difficult to open the jaw. Though the condition can be serious, it rarely causes damage to cartilage and underlying bones.
What Causes Watery Discharge From Ears?
Watery ear discharge is primarily caused by too much exposure of the ear to water. Therefore, swimmers who remain in water for long are highly prone to this syndrome. Sometimes, water may seep into the ear cavity during routine shower and remains there for long.
At times, it may lead to itching causing a tear in the skin. It paves way for more bacteria and fungi invasion to the ear canal tissue, resulting in watery ear discharge. Watery ear discharge can also be a manifestation of chronic skin disorders of the outer ear like seborrheic dermatitis and psoriasis.
Home Remedies For Watery Ear Discharge
A mild form of watery ear discharge disorder can well be handled with some alternative home treatments. In such a health condition, irritation and moisture can pose substantial threats. Therefore, make sure that you protect the inside of your ear from water until the infection cures. Use an ear plug while taking shower.
Rinse the affected ear gently with the help of a bulb syringe using warm saline solution or with a solution comprising of white vinegar and water mixed in equal quantity. Ensure that the flushing solution that you are using is lukewarm.
Applying a hot pad or warm washcloth can also help alleviate pain. During hot pad therapy, some discharge is possible because heat can melt the earwax and drain it out.