Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Head-banger's Ball

Q: Hi, I have a question regarding possible trauma that could cause bleeding to the ear. Is it possible that if one bangs on their head (say, out of frustration), that if they bang hard enough, they could cause their brain to start bleeding and that blood could come draining out of one of their ears? Thanks, just wondering.

A: The answer is yes, but you would have to bang it pretty hard. I think this is unlikely. However, under the influence of alcohol or drugs, anything is possible.

We see trauma-related bleeding more commonly in severe accidents -- car vs. car, car vs. pedestrian, assault, gunshot wounds. It takes a good deal of force to fracture the temporal bone. These are serious, sometimes life-threatening injuries, often associated with other problems (including concussion, change in hearing, dizziness, and other neurological problems).

In the absence of significant trauma, the most common causes of bleeding from the ear canal would be infection and minor trauma (from a person trying to clean his ears with inappropriate instruments).

Hope this helps.



At 7:26 PM, Blogger Anduin said...

I've been looking for your advice site because I have a question and the link disappeared from Shatter. Here's my question:

I've been getting dizzy. It feels like I'm swooning and it comes on suddenly, sometimes lasting all day. Could this be vertigo? I've also read it could be an ear infection. How would I know?

At 7:52 PM, Blogger Douglas Hoffman said...

Guess what, Anduin. You get to be my first non-anonymous victim. Stay tuned.


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