Ear Drum Perforations

A perforated eardrum, also known as a ruptured eardrum or a tympanic membrane perforation, is a hole or tear in the tissue between your ear canal and eardrum. This tissue, called the tympanic membrane, is incredibly thin and delicate, and when pierced it can cause a wide range of symptoms from moderate discomfort to hearing loss.

Causes

Typically, a perforated ear drum is the result of an injury, infection, or chronic disorder of the ear. Most often you will see perforated eardrums caused by:

  • An object pushed too far into the ear canal
  • A head trauma such as a skull fracture
  • Striking the ear directly
  • Loud sounds or blasts
  • An infection of the middle ear
  • Barotrauma (severe air pressure that is typically exerted during air travel)

Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of an ear drum perforation include:

  • Significant ear pain
  • Ringing or buzzing in your ear
  • Vertigo (may also cause nausea)
  • Temporary hearing loss
  • Drainage from the ear in the form of blood, pus, or a clear and watery fluid

Treatment

There are several ways to treat a perforated eardrum. The form of treatment usually depends on the exact cause of the eardrum perforation. For example, infections that cause a perforation of the eardrum are usually treated using antibiotics.

It is also not always necessary to treat a perforated eardrum since they may be able to heal on their own over time. However, it is still very important to seek the advice of an ENT specialist since an eardrum perforation can lead to very serious complications such as permanent hearing loss. Common treatments for a more serious eardrum perforation include:

  • Antibiotics
  • Patching of the eardrum
  • Surgery

Ear & Hearing Services from Iowa ENT

If you believe that you may have perforated your own eardrum and would like to consult with one of the excellent ear, nose & throat specialists here at Iowa ENT & Sinus Surgery Center, then please do not hesitate to give us a call at (515) 576-3100 today.