Perforated Ear Drums: An Overview

A hole or a rupture in the eardrum or tympanic membrane, a thin membrane that separates the ear canal and the middle ear, is called perforated eardrum.

Preforated Ear Drum Causes


  1. Middle Ear Infection (Otitis Media): A middle ear infection often results in the accumulation of fluids in your middle ear. Pressure from these fluids can cause the eardrum to rupture.
  2. Barotrauma : Barotrauma is stress exerted on your eardrum, when the air pressure in your middle ear and the air pressure in the environment are out of balance. If the pressure is severe, your eardrums can rupture. Barotrauma is most often caused by air pressure changes associated with air travel.Other events that can cause sudden changes in pressure include scuba diving and a direct blow to the ears, such as the impact of an automobile air bag.
  3. Loud Sounds or Blasts (Acoustic Trauma): Blast waves from gunshots, fireworks can cause a tear in your eardrum
  4. Foreign Objects in the Ear: Small objects such as cotton swab or hair pin can puncture or tear the eardrum.
  5. Severe head trauma: Skull fracture may cause dislocation or damage to the middle and inner ear structures, including your ear drum.
  6. Slaps to the Ears: Instances such as falling while water skiing or a hard slap to the side of the head can cause a tear in the eardrum.


Preforated Ear Drum Symptoms

Some people don’t notice any symptoms of a ruptured eardrum. Others see their doctors only after several days of general discomfort in their ear. Symptoms of a ruptured eardrum include:

  • Sudden sharp ear pain or a sudden decrease in ear pain.
  • Drainage from ear that maybe clear, with pus or bloody.
  • Ear noise and buzzing (Tinnitus)
  • Hearing loss or decrease in hearing
  • Episodic ear infections
  • Dizziness

Treatment :

  1. Perforated ear drums usually heal within two months and any accompanying hearing loss is usually temporary. Treatment may include analgesics to alleviate pain and antibiotics to prevent infection.
  2. The doctor will most likely advise the patient to keep the ear clean and dry, while it is healing. Therefore, swimming and scuba diving are not advised until a doctor says that it is safe to do so.
  3. If the perforated eardrum is due to a foreign object in the ear, do not try to remove it yourself. Only a medical professional should attempt to remove any foreign bodies in the ear.
  4. Some very large perforation and occasionally, some smaller ones will not heal. They require surgical intervention. The procedure is Tympanoplasty

The ears are like the two precious jewels in the human body and they need to be taken care of. At Sankhya, the best and the most dedicated group of doctors take care of the ENT problems, which people suffer from. All the people who have taken medication under its able doctors have felt the difference taking place in the shortest time possible.

If you’d like to know more about this, please watch the video below:


  1. One of the first ways to prevent a ruptured ear drum is to get a treatment for the middle ear infections as soon as they develop.
  2. If you are flying, you should try to keep your ears clear by equalising pressure, using such techniques as yawning, chewing gum or gently attempting to blow your nose while pinching your nostrils and keeping your mouth closed (valsalva maneuver)
  3. Keep small items that children may use to put in their ears out of their reach.
  4. Adults should never attempt to dig out excessive ear wax with cotton swabs, hair pins, paper clips or objects that can easily rupture the eardrum.
  5. Noise at high levels and sharp sounds should be avoided by using protective earplugs or ear muffs.

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