Stinky ear is common symptom of ear infection. Ear discharge whether watery or filled with pus and blood, smells foul at times when there is a bacterial or fungal infection in the ear. Our ear is made of three compartments, the outer ear, the middle ear and the inner ear. Infection can occur in any compartments of the ear.
Occasionally, ear infections resulting in stinky ear wax discharge can also affect the overall hearing quality.
Ear wax is a sticky substance found inside the ear canal. The function of ear wax is to protect the ear from various bacteria and viruses and other foreign objects hurting the inner ear. A waxy material is produced by glands in the outer third of the ear canal. This material mixes with the dead skin cells and sweat to form wax.
You may find stinky ear wax in those suffering from swimmers ear. Compacted wax is usually seen in elder individuals. Middle ear infection, trauma, high decibel sound, or sudden change in air pressure can rupture your ear drum.
What Causes Stinky Ear Discharge?
The causes for stinky ear discharge are:
- Otitis externa. Infection in the outer ear. This is the most common type of infection responsible for sticky ear discharge
- Otitis media. Infection of the middle ear is more frequently observed in infants and elderly
- Foreign body in the ear.
- Cholesteatoma. Over growth of middle ear tissue. Risk factor includes repeated ear infection. Hearing loss, stinky ear discharge, vertigo is its symptoms.
- Injury to eardrum.
- Injury to the skin of the ear canal while cleaning with a stick or an ear bud.
- Mastoiditis is inflammation of mastoid bone due to viral and bacterial infection.
- Skull fracture.
- Fungus infection of the ear.
Treatment For Stinky Ear Discharge
In most cases of ear infection there is presence of stinky ear discharge. Following are the home remedies that can be complemented with prescribed medicines from your doctor.
- Eat diet rich in vitamins, especially vitamin C as it helps in healing process. Vitamin C enhances the natural immunity of an individual and helps in management of the condition.
- Dilute white vinegar with few drops of distilled water and pour one or two drops twice in a day to keep the ear dry.
- In case of cholesteatoma: Avoid loud noise, stop smoking, do not place any objects in the ear such as ear plugs etc.
- Avoid swimming or ensure that your ears are covered well to prevent water from entering into them
- Instill few drops of homeopathic mullein oil for an effective relief from stinky ear discharge.