A ruptured eardrum is the most common cause of ear bleeding, but the condition can also occur with head injuries, explains Healthgrades. In certain cases, bleeding from the ear can indicate cancer of the ear canal, so it is always best for sufferers to seek medical attention.
Bleeding from the ear can also be a result of injuries to the inner ear or eardrum, according to Seattle Children's Hospital. Ear canal injuries include scratches or cuts from cotton swabs, fingernails or medical instruments inserted into the ears during examinations. Injuries to the eardrum can also be caused by cotton swabs, as well as pointy objects such as pencils, sticks or wire. It is important for individuals with ear injuries to seek immediate medical attention if bleeding does not resolve on its own within 10 minutes or if clear liquid weeps out of the ear.
Bloody ear discharge may also be a symptom of a middle ear infection, notes Mayo Clinic. Additional symptoms include hearing difficulties and ear pain. Children with middle ear infections may also have difficulty balancing and experience a loss of appetite. Additional symptoms in children include irritability, sleeping difficulties and fever. In most cases, middle ear infections resolve on their own without antibiotics, but medication may be prescribed if symptoms do not improve within 48 hours.