DEAR DR. ROACH: I am a 67-year-old male in relatively good health. I exercise regularly (four times a week). I have been taking medication for hypertension, which is getting much better since I started a plant-based diet three months ago.
About every three months or so for the last five years, there are two half-dollar-sized blood stains on my pillow coming from my right ear. I have no headaches, and my hearing is what it is for my age. My wife is concerned, but I am not. What do you think? — J.G.
ANSWER: I think your wife is wise to be concerned. This is not something I commonly encounter, and the answer is very likely to be found inside your ear by a clinical exam. I do sometimes see small infections in the ear that may bleed, and there are benign tumors of the ear canal and eardrum that may sometimes bleed as well. I have read about a very rare condition of an aneurysm bleeding from the ear. This has been going on a long time, so it’s worth an evaluation.