Otorrhea

The board-certified, fellowship-trained pediatric infectious disease specialists with Norton Children’s Infectious Diseases, affiliated with the UofL School of Medicine, provide evaluation and treatment of otorrhea, also called watery ears or runny ears, and its complications in children.

What Is Otorrhea?

Otorrhea, also called watery ears or runny ears, is drainage that cones out of the ear canal. This drainage, which may or may not have a foul smell, can be:

  • Purulent: Contain pus
  • Sanguineous: Contain blood
  • Serous: Thin and watery

Otorrhea can be caused by:

  • Tear in the eardrum (perforated eardrum)
  • Outer ear infection, such as swimmer’s ear or a fungal (yeast) infection in the ear canal
  • Head injury, which can cause cerebrospinal fluid (fluid that surrounds the brain and spinal cord) to leak. This is a less common cause, but it is serious and can be life-threatening.

If your child’s ear begins draining and they don’t have ear tubes, they should be evaluated by a physician.

Otorrhea Symptoms

Symptoms can include:

  • Ear pain
  • Fever
  • Hearing loss
  • Itching
  • Ringing in the ear
  • Vertigo (feels like the room is spinning/dizzy)

Otorrhea Treatment

Treatment for otorrhea depends on the underlying cause of the drainage. Treatment will be based on the child’s age, current health and medical history. Treatments may include:

  • Antibiotic ear drops
  • Oral antibiotics

Why Choose Norton Children’s Infectious Diseases?

  • Norton Children’s Infectious Diseases specializes in the care of children from birth through adolescence.
  • With seven infectious diseases specialists and one nurse practitioner on staff, your child can be seen quickly, especially for urgent needs.
  • Members of our team are nationally recognized and have held or serve in leadership positions related to infectious diseases.
  • Our provider team is leading Norton Children’s Hospital and Norton Children’s Medical Group in COVID-19 efforts, helping streamline infection prevention and providing patient care during the pandemic.
  • Our team provides inpatient consultation services at Norton Children’s Hospital and Norton Women’s & Children’s Hospital, as well as telemedicine services throughout Kentucky. Our physicians also treat patients at UofL Hospital.
  • Keep up with your child’s lab results, communicate with your provider and schedule appointments through MyNortonChart.
Infectious Disease – 5437

Norton Children’s Infectious Diseases

Call for Information

(502) 588-2348

Local cases of RSV, croup on the rise

While most virus news continues to be about the one that causes COVID-19, there are several other viruses affecting local children. Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a health advisory […]

Read Full Story

Norton Children’s Research Institute, affiliated with the UofL School of Medicine, to participate in COVID-19 investigational vaccine clinical trial for children ages 6 months to 4 years

The Norton Children’s Research Institute, affiliated with the UofL School of Medicine, will participate in a phase 2/3 clinical trial of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 investigational vaccine for healthy children ages 6 months to 4 years. […]

Read Full Story

Helping kids avoid and overcome infections after transplants

Victoria A. Statler, M.D., works hard to educate children undergoing transplants on ways to avoid potentially dangerous infections. She also treats them when they do get sick. Children receiving transplanted organs or bone marrow take […]

Read Full Story

La renuencia de obtener una vacuna del COVID-19 puede obstaculizar su efectividad

Public concern about the new COVID-19 vaccines represents a challenge to a key strategy in fighting the pandemic A medida la vacuna en contra del COVID-19 se encuentra en el horizonte, los doctores y oficiales [...]

Read Full Story

Norton Children’s launches pediatric COVID-19 follow-up clinic

There’s a new option for kids with prolonged symptoms after COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus. Norton Children’s Infectious Diseases, affiliated with the University of Louisville School of Medicine, has opened a COVID-19 Follow-up […]

Read Full Story

Search our entire site.