Your eardrum is a thin membrane that lies between your ear canal and middle ear.
When this membrane develops a small hole or tear, it is known as a perforated eardrum (ruptured eardrum, tympanic membrane perforation).
Perforated / Ruptured eardrums are generally the result of an injury, infection, or chronic ear disorder. Potential causes include: pushing an object too far into the ear canal, extremely loud sounds, head trauma, middle ear infection, or barotrauma caused by air pressure. A perforated eardrum can cause your hearing to be temporarily or permanently lost, and you should see your ENT specialist as soon as possible.
Did You Know?
The eardrum got its name from its structure. The tympanic membrane that makes up the eardrum is stretched so tightly that it vibrates like a drum when sound waves hit it.
Signs of a Perforated Eardrum
- Significant ear pain
- Temporary hearing loss
- Vertigo (possibly accompanied by nausea)
- Ringing or buzzing in the ear
- Drainage from the ear canal (blood, pus, or clear fluid)
At Anne Arundel ENT & Facial Plastic Surgery, we offer a variety of treatment methods for perforated eardrums.
In most cases, you can expect your eardrum to heal within a few weeks. At this time, you should also regain your hearing. In the case that eardrum surgery is needed, about 8 weeks is needed to make a complete recovery.
Avoid temporary or permanent Hearing Loss.
Your exact treatment will depend on the cause of the perforation, as well as the extent of the damage. Certain perforations may be able to heal on their own, while others may require treatment with antibiotics, patching, or surgery.