Perforated eardrum

Symptoms, causes and treatments of perforated tympanic membrane

What is a perforated eardrum?

A perforated eardrum is a tear or hole in your eardrum which can cause ear infections and sudden hearing loss. The the eardrum separates the middle ear from the outer ear.  When the eardrum is damaged, hearing may be affected. The eardrum acts as a barrier that prevents external materials / elements, such as bacteria and germs, from entering the middle ear. When the eardrum is pierced or inflamed, the bacteria spreads easily into the middle ear and can cause an infection.

Symptoms of perforated eardrum

You may have a perforated eardrum if you are experiencing:

  • Pain in your ear or an earache
  • Residue dripping from your ear
  • An itchy ear
  • A fever
  • Tinnitus

Causes of perforated eardrum

Some common causes of perforated eardrum can be listed as :

  • Major Change in the air pressure.
  • Loud noises like fireworks or explosions.
  • An injury which impacts the inner ear.
  • Ear infections.
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Treatments of perforated eardrum

A ruptured eardrum tends to heal itself in about two months. The doctor may suggest antibiotics to prevent or treat the infection and pain relievers to relieve the pain. You can also apply heat to relieve discomfort or, sometimes, put a patch on the eardrum to speed healing.

During this period, the healthy ear should be kept clean and dry. Thus, when taking a shower, it is recommended to cover the ear with a little cotton to prevent the entry of water. Remember, you should always see your doctor about a pierced eardrum.

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