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Ears leak at night
Does anyone have any idea why my daughter's ears would leak at night?  She is 35 years old and has been to a few ENT's who have said she has no problems.  She even had an MRI, which was normal.  It is clear  fluid that feels warm when it leaks.  It wakes her up almost nightly and then she cannot go back to sleep.  I am concerned since the lack of sleep has really affected her.  Her ears pop every once in awhile, but other than that, there are no other symptoms.  Any ideas?  Could it be a CSF leak?  Thank you!
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280541 tn?1244654085
Does she shower before she goes to bed? Even if not, It could be water getting in her ears...maybe suggest she use ear plugs when taking a shower.

An MRI should have been able to diagnose a CSF leak, so I don't know if I'd be too concerned about that.

Does the fluid have a smell at all? How much fluid?

Ashley
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Thank you for your response, She has had MRIS and it is not from taking showers since she does not wash her hair every night.  Not too much fluid, no smell.  She has been to a few ENT specialists and they all say there is nothing wrong.  Thank you.
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280541 tn?1244654085
Generally with a CSF leak there would definitely be other symptoms...especially headaches, etc.

There usually isn't any other fluid in your ears besides ear wax, which can be a variety of colors/textures. If her ENT isn't concerned, and she doesn't have any other symptoms...maybe she could try putting either cotton balls or ear plugs in her ears at night so she doesn't feel the fluid come out?

Best of luck!
Ashley
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I have the same issue.  It's very frustrating.  Every night if I wake up I have fluid in my ears and in the morning.  It's not a lot but sometimes it will make a q-tip quite damp.
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I too awaken at night with clear fluid in my ears...which is sometimes painful. I have severe headaches/migraines, dizziness , blurry vision, and many more symptoms. My eye exam and an MRI were both unremarkable. So I have no idea....but I have read that CSF leaks can be very difficult to find.
Good luck to you.
sharon
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First time ever I woke up during the night with this running fluid and a bit painful. My throat starts to hurt. In three Weeks time,I am traveling by aircraft. I am getting this scary feeling.
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I have the same problem but my doctor says its not a problem....well it is for me..its very uncomfortable!!
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I been having the same thing i would wake up and my pillow has wet pots on it where my ear has been leaking clear why is that it is sometimes a light brown and sometimes there is blood mixed in with it. and it is sometimes sticky. This has been going on four about 2 months now i went to the doctor and they gave me meds for it and it never worked i wonder if it is csf please someone please help me out this is getting out of contorl
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ME TOO!! I have this problem as well. Every night, usually one ear, a qtip is soaked when I clean out my ear.. There is no smell and it is clear.. During the day my ear gets extremely itchy like there's bugs crawling in my ear.. Its gross.. Today I went to the Dr to get it squirted out but they said, my ear was as clean as can be.. no ear wax.. ??? not sure what to think..
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Hi :  I have already made a comment right above, but just remembered that my nurse told me that it could possibly be your ears draining, if you've had water in your ear from either swimming or an infection in your sinus'... just a thought. It made sense to me.. I was sick a week ago, but this leaking of my ear has gone on for a month now.. this is also not the first time I have had this problem...
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I had same problem for about last year it started when I used to listen music using headphone .it seems it also associated with some allergies.it worsen during pollen season. Some ear drop may help for short term.
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I have the same issues, although I do notice an odor to the fluid.  I do notice a lot of itching either before or after the leaking, and it happens during the day as well.  I also suffer from vertigo and severe motion sickness.  I am a dancer and I cannot even do 1 spin without the world continuing to spin.  I take meclazine often.  I never had ear infections as a child, however I have had many as an adult.  They have lessened greatly since I had my wisdom teeth removed and then braces to help with TMJ (all done in my mid to late 20's).  
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I have had this often since I was a teenager, and I'm in my 40s now.  Clear, odorless fluid.  It isn't from showering or swimming.  I rarely ever have any waxy or colored ('normal') earwax.  It is even more pronounced if I am a little congested.  It was worse when I was pregnant. My ears don't hurt or seem to have any problems, but it is really annoying, especially at night, if I wake up and then have to get out of bed just to mop it up with a q-tip.  
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I have suffeted with this same issue for years now.  A hearing specialist looked in my ears with a powerful scope and said my ear canals were too dry and he could see small cracks in the skin.  He said that would explain the itching and the cracks could be leaking fluid.  Told me to clean my ears with hydrogen peroxide monthly and to use mineral oil on a qtip at night to moisturize my ear canal. It does help.  I slso bought snd use a humidifier in my room at night to keep my room from being as dry ad the sahara desert during the winter.
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This should not need saying but please don't stick q-tips in your ears.  They are dangerous.  Not just because they can perforate the ear drum, but also because they can (and very frequently *do*) irritate the ear canal and introduce infection.  If the drainage is due to a CSF leak, that infection then has a clear passage to the brain where it can cause an abscess or meningitis.  How do I know this?  Because it happened to me during September 2010.  I almost died, I had to undergo extensive ear and brain surgery, and I was in hospital for two months.  I am now deaf as a result and only discovered this today because yet another complication has occurred and I was doing a little research prior to visiting the doctor.
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I've had this problem for the last 2 years or more. Wet and squelching ears in the morning that wake me in the night with itching that feels like there is a thick liquid running around in my ear. No smell, no colour but can soak up a q tip in the morning. Mine got to the point where it was starting to crust up around the entrance to my ear canal and get sore.Had an mri, all clear. Seen an ent consultant, he took swabs which were clear and said my canals looked good, possibly a little dry. He gave me a few different medications to try. From drops to sprays. Nothing helped.

I don't believe it's wax and I don't think it's water either. I think it's oil, or sebum from over active sebaceous glands in the ears, triggered by something, I'm not sure what.

The only relief I have managed to find ( and people may disagree with me but I'm not an unintelligent fool, this is what works for me) is in washing the ear canals each night with warm water in the shower by directing the spray of water into my ear. Foam up some anti dandruff shampoo in your hands and try and push the bubbles into your ears. Rinse with water, then dry the outside of your ears with a towel and then dry the canals thoroughly and very carefully with cotton buds (q tips) by patting inside, not rubbing. In the morning, using another cotton bud, I put a little sudocrem in each ear.

7 nights out of 10, I sleep right through and don't have squelching ears in the morning.

I have tried stopping this routine for a few weeks more than once to see if there's any change. There hasn't been so far and my symptoms always come back as bad as they ever were.
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This has happened to me too. I have seen 3 ENT.'s no answers as to why. I know it is not water getting into my ears.I took a shower 30 min.s prior to seeing ENT and he said there is no water in your ears. But every night which ever side I sleep on leaks but not enough to get on my pillow. When I switch sides it seems to return to wherever it came from. I get a cat scan this coming week. It's clear fluid. No smell.
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If you don't get anywhere with this, try my routine, you might find if gives you relief like it does for me.
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I've had the same problem for ages. Watery squelching ears at night. Flaky and itchy throughout the day. Very uncomfortable and embarrassing. It's worse in change of weather.
My ENT told me it was eczema. So he told me to apply canasten in my ear canal. Wasn't so keen so used homeopathic 'cakendulon' by Weleda.it was better with it.
  I recently had a patch of eczema on my leg which just wouldn't go- in fact it got worse. I went to an allergy specialist. Took pin-prick and patch tests. It resulted I was allergic to nickel and sulfites. Apparently these substances can cause hives, eczema, severe itching, allergic rhinitis, sinusitis or asthma.
I've been on a low nickel/sulfite diet for two years. It's very difficult to keep. At the beginning the symptoms went completely but, being so difficult, it was difficult to socialize/ eat out etc. I've slackened on the diet a lot recently and my ears haven't stopped itching and leaking - again! I might try tea tree oil next. It's good for fungal infections.
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You're not alone! My ent diagnosed mine as psoriasis in my ear canal..same symptoms as you: liquid (odor yuck!) at night that solidifies thru' day, itchy and painful! Think how thin & delicate skin is there. Ent told me no water whatsoEVER! Use EUCERIN cream for exterior..what else have you used? Any info appreciated. Thanks!
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If you're concerned about a cranial CSF leak (which doesn't usually manifest with symptoms like headache, but rather with symptoms like leaking, clear non-viscous fluid from the ear or nose) that was perhaps too small to be visualized by the imaging modality that the radiologist used, then you can ask someone to test the fluid for beta-transferrin, a protein found only in CSF and that can help diagnose whether the fluid itself is cerebrospinal fluid or if it is nasal discharge.  It's a diagnostic tool that doesn't need to rely on MRI diagnostic evidence of a leak, which is not always perfectly sensitive.
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