A perforated eardrum can be quite painful as it's caused by a rupture or hole in the eardrum. A perforated eardrum can cause temporary hearing loss and along with occasional discharge from your ear.
The location of the perforation in the ear can also affect the level of your hearing loss. A severe loss of hearing can occur after a skull fracture that disrupts the bones in the middle ear. If an eardrum perforation is caused by a loud noise it could lead to ringing in the ear (tinnitus), along with the temporary hearing loss. This hearing loss usually improves over time and the ringing in the ear generally goes away in a few days.
It is possible to perforate your eardrum in the following ways:
- With a cotton swab or other foreign object
- By hitting your ear with an open hand or fist
- After fracturing your skull and after a loud noise or explosion.
- From an ear infection - as pressure within the middle will rise with fluid build up
Symptoms of a perforated eardrum often include an earache or ear pain, or a sudden decrease in ear pain followed by drainage of fluid from the ear, hearing loss, or ear noise, buzzing or ringing. If you have any of these symptoms you should visit a doctor for treatment.
A perforated eardrum will usually heal by itself within about two months. You may be given antibiotics to prevent the ear from becoming infected or to treat an existing ear infection. You may also be given pain killers to lessen any ear pain. Occasionally a paper patch is placed over the eardrum to cover and protect it until the membrane heals. It may take a few patches before the perforation completely heals. If the eardrum doesn't eventually heal on its own, then surgery called tympanoplasty may be needed to fix it. When your eardrum is healing you should keep it clean and dry.
Advertiser Links for hearing loss [what's this?]
Next Article: Central Auditory Dysfunctions