Hearing Conditions: Perforated Ear Drum


A hole or tear that develops in the eardrum is called a perforated ear drum. A ruptured eardrum can affect hearing, but extend of hearing loss may vary. Tiny tympanic perforations may cause minimal loss of hearing. Larger hole in the eardrum can result in complete hear loss. The eardrum block the entry of bacteria and other into the middle ear, so people with perforated tympanic membrane are at greater risk of developing an ear infection.

The causes of perforated eardrum include:
Infections of the middle ear are often associated with a discharge from the ear as pus and result in eardrum rupture. Direct injury to the ear, a sudden loud noise from a blast can also cause perforated eardrum. Barotrauma, which results from the sudden change in air pressure in the middle ear. Poking objects into the ear cause hole in the ear drum. Grommets, used to treat glue ear, when falls out can cause perforations.
Ear fluid is common especially in children due to short Eustachian tubes or may be post ear infection. The ear fluid causes can be cold or flu. Usually, fluid in the ears does not lead to any serious complications. The fluid that escapes from blood vessels or the lymphatic system gets collected in the middle ear. One or two courses of antibiotics can be used as initial treatment of acute inflammation of the middle ear with effusion. Antihistamines and decongestants have been used, if the infection is associated with hay fever or some other allergic inflammation.
Earache (or ear-pain) is one of the most disturbing experiences. Most of the ear pain causes are within the ear itself, sometimes from pathology of remote areas. Water trapped in the ear canal, bacterial infection of the middle ear, post upper respiratory tract infection can also cause ear pain.
Symptoms of hole in eardrum: Pain is the foremost symptom of a perforated eardrum. This ear ache symptom can range from general discomfort to intense pain. The symptoms of ruptured tympanic membrane includes, Vertigo (spinning sensation), hearing change or loss, ringing, humming, chattering in the ear. Fluid or blood draining from the ear is a severe symptom of perforated tympanic membrane. The other symptoms of perforated eardrum include difficulty walking, change in the ability to taste foods, stiff neck, high fever, severe headache, numbness or weakness in face, arms, or legs, difficulty talking or opening mouth, continued vomiting, pain or swelling behind the ear, abrupt change in vision, difficulty staying awake.
Perforated eardrum treatment: A perforated eardrum will cure on its own within weeks without any treatment.
Pain relievers can help ease the pain while the eardrum is healing. Infections can be prevented or treat any existing infections with antibiotics in the form of tablet or eardrops. Keep the ear clean and dry while healing. If the perforated eardrum is due to foreign particles in the ear, it is advised not to remove without the help from a medical professional.
Prominent or non-healing holes require ENT surgery. Surgical procedures are performed under general anesthesia. A surgery of ear is performed by the specialist to graft or patch the eardrum with paper, fat, muscle, or other material. They act as a support to grow the tympanic membrane.
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