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Ruptured eardrum (perforated eardrum)

Ruptured eardrum (Perforated Eardrum)

Ruptured eardrum is also known as tympanic membrane perforation. In this condition there’s a hole or tear in the thin tissue of ear that separates ear canal from middle ear. It can lead toto conductive type of hearing loss and make middle ear vulnerable to infections.

Symptoms

Symptoms include:Ruptured Eardrum Symptoms Causes Treatment

  • Earache that usually subsidies quickly
  • Drainage from ear that can be mucus like, pus-filled or bloody
  • Sudden hearing loss
  • Tinnitus ( ringing sensation in the ear )
  • Vertigo (spinning sensation)
  • Nausea and vomiting
Causes

Perforation of eardrum is caused by following:

  • Infection of the middle ear i-e otitis media
  • Stress exerted on the eardrum when air pressure gradient increases, known as barotrauma
  • Acoustic trauma i-e trauma from loud sounds and blast.
  • Severe head trauma
  • Foreign body in the ear
Complications

 Perforation of the tympanic membrane leads to the following complications:

  • Hearing loss
  • Otitis media i-e infection of middle ear
  • Middle ear cyst with cholesteatoma
Diagnosis

Diagnosis depends upon detailed medical history and complete examination of the ear by otoscope or microscope. Along with this other tests that are needed for

diagnosis are:

  • Laboratory or culture test
  • Tuning fork evaluation
  • Tympanometry
  • Audiology exam
Treatment

Usually ruptured eardrums are healed on their own without any treatment within few weeks. For small holes just antibiotic drops are needed to prevent any infection in the middle ear. For large and unhealing holes following treatment options are considered:

  • Eardrum patch
  • Hole can be surgical mend with tympanoplasty.
Lifestyle and home remedies
  • Plugging the earcanal with silicon earplug or cotton ball to keep the ear dry
  • Don’t clean your ears with any material and give time to the eardrum to heal completely
  • Avoid applying pressure on eardrum by blowing nose
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