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Do I have an ear infection?

Q: I am a 35 years old man having a problem in both my ears since childhood. My right ear discharges water and pus (white and yellow mix) continuously throughout the year. After cleaning, it remains fine but for only one to two hours. During childhood, an ENT specialist suggested me to go for an operation of the middle canal. But because of the fear of total hearing loss my father stopped me from having this done. Now I have no problem of hearing. But if I don't clean my ears twice a day then I do feel some problem in hearing. It has been one year since my ears are discharging. My only problem is watering from the ears. Once I take eardrops, it stopsbut creates problem in hearing. So I stopped using the drops. Is there any way to stop the watering without any hearing loss?

A:You are most probably suffering from chronic otitis media with perforation of eardrum. It is of two types - a safe central perforation without bone erosion, which can be corrected by repair of drum of ear without hearing loss in 99% cases. The second is unsafe type with bone involvement, which requires full mastoidectomy and in 95% cases hearing is preserved or improved. More details can be given after you are examined and investigated by radiology and audiology. Eardrop stops infection temporarily and are not a permanent solution.

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