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Health Tip

Home :: Ear Injury

Ear Injury

Ear injuries may include:

  • Contusion (bruising).
  • Laceration from a sharp instrument.
  • Injury to the eardrum or internal ear.
  • Cuts or scrapes may injure the outer ear or ear canal.
  • Burns or frostbite can cause ear injuries (thermal injuries).


  • Skin of the ear.
  • Cartilage of the ear.
  • Perichondrium (thin membrane layer between the cartilage and skin).
  • Nerves, blood vessels and connective tissue.
  • Parts of the internal ear-eardrum, middle ear, inner ear.


  • Direct blow to the ear.
  • Accidental insertion of a sharp object into the ear.
  • Sudden, excessive changes in pressure.

Signs & Symptoms

  • Contusion or laceration: Pain, swelling, bleeding and bruising of skin around the ear.
  • Internal injury: Loss of hearing, ringing in the ear, loss of equilibrium or bleeding from a ruptured eardrum.


Follow your doctor's instructions. These instructions are supplemental.

For contusions:

  • The doctor will aspirate blood between the skin and ear cartilage if needed.If swelling persists, multiple small incisions may prevent a cauliflower ear from developing.
  • Use ice packs or warm compresses to relive discomfort.
  • Sleep with the head elevated with 2 pillows until symptoms subside.
  • Change bulky bandages often to keep them soft and protective.

For lacerations:

  • Your doctor must carefully repair the cut to prevent deformity.
  • Keep the wound dry and covered for 48 hours.
  • After 48 hours, replace the bandage when it gets wet.
  • When you change the bandage, apply a small amount of petroleum jelly or non-prescription antibiotic ointment to the bandage.
  • Ignore small amounts of bleeding. Control heavier bleeding by firmly pressing a facial tissue or clean cloth to the bleeding spot for 10 minutes.

Home Diet

During recovery, eat a well-balanced diet that includes extra protein, such as meat, fish, poultry, cheese, milk and eggs.

  • Wear protective headgear for contact sport. Some ear injuries cannot be prevented.

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