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Has your child ever had a really foul smell from the ear?

A few weeks ago we thought DD had perforated her ear drum. I brought her in and the doctor said it looked like she just scratched her ear drum and she should be fine, just to follow up at her well visit (later this month). About a week ago I noticed a really foul smell from that ear, I tried cleaning it and had a bunch of nasty brown stuff come out, I thought that would take care of it, but her ear still smells disgusting. She isn't complaining that it hurts, so I didn't think it was an infection, but neither of them have ever had this before.


Asked by AF4life at 12:50 AM on Oct. 3, 2013 in Preschoolers (3-4)

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Answers (13)
  • Been there, done that.

    Infections don't always hurt. One of my daughters spent years with chronic ear infections.Take her back to the doc. Our ENT examines her ears with a tiny camera probe - it's painless but, on screen, you see straight away that there's an infection. Our family doc examines her ears with the classic light and that's all and has missed an ear infection in the past.

    The smell won't go away just with cleaning. It will be back with a vengeance.

    Answer by goldpandora at 5:17 AM on Oct. 3, 2013

  • Have you checked behind her ear? Maybe there is schmutz back there. If not... I would call her doctor. Sounds like an infection.

    Answer by SleepingBeautee at 1:01 AM on Oct. 3, 2013

  • Hmmm. I'd take her in again. That's not normal but not necessarily something to panic about. Have you tried a little peroxide? what about Debrox to remove wax?

    Answer by jeanclaudia at 1:24 AM on Oct. 3, 2013

  • Best to go see the doctor again.

    Answer by louise2 at 6:03 AM on Oct. 3, 2013

  • If it has an odor it's a bacteria of some kind. I'd have her checked again ASAP. Maybe they can give you an ear wash/medication.

    Answer by ILovemyPaulie at 8:03 AM on Oct. 3, 2013

  • Forgot to add that we were given antibiotic drops to deal with it plus antibiotics by mouth.

    Answer by goldpandora at 9:33 AM on Oct. 3, 2013

  • I'd call the doctor and ask what he or she thinks, just in case. It could be a sign of infection.

    Answer by Ballad at 2:34 AM on Oct. 3, 2013

  • I would call the doctor to check with them. Usually a bad smell is something to seek medical advise for since that can be an indication of infection.

    Answer by QuinnMae at 9:34 AM on Oct. 3, 2013

  • My son had a whole slew of ear infections up until he was about 2 that we knew almost nothing about. He NEVER showed the "classic" signs and symptoms of ear infections. No fussiness, no tugging the ears, no fever, none of it.

    We caught 3 I think. 1 ruptured at daycare and he had to go home, 1 he spiked a high fever, and maybe another couple we caught because we were at the doctor already and asked her to take a look, just in case.

    Answer by Rosehawk at 11:25 AM on Oct. 3, 2013

  • Is there a foreign object in her ear? (Like food that could be rotting?)

    Answer by PartyGalAnne at 2:11 PM on Oct. 3, 2013