Perforated eardrum

Damaged eardrum causing infections and sudden hearing loss

A perforated eardrum is a tear or hole in your eardrum which can cause ear infections and sudden hearing loss. The wafer-thin tympanic membrane (the eardrum) separates the middle ear from the outer ear. Its function is to vibrate when struck by sound waves, which become nerve impulses sent to the brain.  

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 a burst 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

What causes a perforated eardrum?

Often perforated eardrums can be caused by:

  • Flying or diving, the change in the air pressure.
  • Loud noises like fireworks or explosions.
  • An injury which impacts the inner ear.
  • Ear infections.

Ruptured eardrum treatments

If you believe you have a perforated eardrum it is best to avoid touching the inner ear, see your GP for treatment and make sure you keep your ear dry.

If you would like to know more about perforated eardrums or to book a free hearing test with Amplifon click here.

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