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Eardrum perforation is a condition that is more common in young children, though it can affect people across all age groups. A rupture or a hole in the thin membrane separating the ear canal from the middle ear results in eardrum perforation.
Here is a brief account that will help you further understand the symptoms so as to seek treatment at the right time before the condition causes any complication.
Signs and symptoms:
A person with a perforated eardrum may have symptoms that include,
- Sharp pain that subsides quickly
- Ear fluid release
- Ringing sound in the ear (tinnitus)
- Partial or complete hearing loss
- Occasionally, fever
Causes of Eardrum Perforation:
The causes of eardrum hole may stem from an infection, injury or chronic disorders related to Eustachian tube. A perforated eardrum from trauma may occur when there is a skull fracture or after a sudden explosion or if the ear is struck directly. In patients with chronic problems with Eustachian tube, the eardrum can become weak and open up. Eardrum perforations may also be caused due to rapid pressure changes such as during air travel.
Treating Eardrum Perforations:
A perforated eardrum caused by infections or pressure changes usually cures in weeks without treatment, however, when the condition does not improve for a significant period of time, medical intervention is required.
Before attempting to correct any eardrum perforation, a hearing test is required to be performed. Then the treatment process would be initiated to close the perforation. This is done due to the advantages it provides including preventing water from entering the middle ear while taking a bath or swimming or showering and also improved hearing. It also prevents the development of cholesteatoma which may cause chronic infection as well as the destruction of the internal ear structures.
When the perforation is too small, a patient may be advised to observe the problem and check whether it is healing on its own. The hearing is generally improved with the closure of the eardrum. An ENT specialist may determine whether a paper patch will be able to provide an adequate closure of the hole in the eardrum and in case it doesn't help, surgery may be required to help the condition.
There are many treatment options, but most of them involve placement of the new patch across the perforation for allowing it to heal. This process is medically termed as tympanoplasty, and the surgery is quite useful in repairing the perforation which helps in bringing back the lost sense of hearing.
Eardrum perforation is a serious health condition that needs to be treated without further delay. It is essential to consult with an ENT specialist to get it treated before any complications arise.
Tympanic Membrane, commonly known as eardrum, divides external parts of the ear (consisting of Pinna or Auricle and External Auditory Cavity) and the middle ear (Tympanic cavity). The function of the Tympanic Membrane is to transmit the sound of air via ossicles of the middle ear to the oval window in the cochlea. It converts and amplifies vibration in air to the vibration in fluid.
An eardrum rupture is a small hole or tear in the thin tissue which divides the external ear canal and middle ear. A person with a ruptured eardrum may feel a clap of thunder or earache. This may also lead to hearing loss. An eardrum rupture is also known as a perforated eardrum or punctured eardrum.
Causes of Rupture Eardrum:
There are many causes of ruptured eardrums, and some of the most common causes are listed below:
Infections are one of the most common causes of ruptured eardrums. During an ear infection, the fluid accumulates in the ear, which builds pressure causing a tear of Tympanic Membrane.
Change in Pressure:
Activities that cause pressure changes in the ear may lead to a rupture in the eardrum. It is called Barotrauma. This mainly happens when the pressure of the external ear is drastically different from the inner ear.
Activities which may cause Barotrauma are:
Flying in an airplane
Driving at high altitudes
Forceful and direct impact to the ear
Ear injuries may also perforate the eardrums. Any ear injury or head injury on the side of the ear may break the Tympanic Membrane and lead to ruptured eardrums. Injuries that may harm eardrums are:
Getting hit in the ear
Injuries in which a person falls on his/her ears
Ear injuries during sports
Damage to the ear due to noise or loud sounds can also rupture the eardrum. However, the evidence of this is yet to be found.
Other causes include skull fractures, foreign objects, and severe head trauma.
Symptoms of Rupture Eardrum:
Pus or blood released from the ear
Diagnosis for Eardrum Rupture:
Fluid Sample Test: If an eardrum rupture is caused by infection, doctors perform fluid tests. In this type of test, doctors take a sample of fluid that leaks from the ear and send it to the laboratory.
Otoscope Exam: In this type of examination, doctors use specialised instruments with light to see the ear canal.
Audiology Exam: In this type of examination, doctors test the hearing range and capacity of the person.
Tympanometry: In this type of test, doctors insert a tympanometer into the eardrum to check the ear responses on pressure change.
Treatment of Rupture Eardrum:
There are many treatment options available for rupture eardrum. Doctors advise these treatments depending upon the severity and condition to provide relief from pain, eliminate infection, and prevent hearing loss in future. Some of the treatments are listed below:
If the condition is not critical, doctors usually prescribe medicines to the patient. These medicines help to clear up the infection and protect a person from developing a perforated eardrum. Doctors may also prescribe some ear drops along with medication.
In this type of treatment, doctors place a medicated patch on the eardrum. This patch encourages tears to heal and grow back together.
Ruptured eardrum can be easily cured with these two methods of treatment. However, in rare cases, doctors recommend surgery to patch the tear. This type of surgery is known as Tympanoplasty. In this method, the surgeon takes a part of tissue and grafts it over the tear of the eardrum.
Above are some of the common methods of treating ruptured eardrums. However, it is always advisable to consult a doctor before reaching any conclusion. Also, taking some preventive measures like keeping ears dry, clean, infection free, etc. can help a person protect his/her ears from being punctured or ruptured. Do not insert anything inside the ear canal in an attempt to clean ear wax.
I have been taking montek lc since 9 years. Today I realized it's too much asteroid & it is very harmful so today I came in touch with a doctor umesh diwedi, he is a recfologist & advised me to avoid montek lc and he prescribed me some german homeopathic medicine, trifla. so I want to ask that can I leave montek lc no harm for me. Please suggest to me.
Meniere’s disease is a condition of the middle ear, the exact cause of which is not known. If often affects one ear and affects adults who are aged over 40. It is diagnosed by few characteristic symptoms:
There could be periods of dizziness, where the patient falls, known as “drop attacks.” These attacks are followed by long periods with no symptoms whatsoever. It is unpredictable and so a patient can never really be prepared for an attack. While it is not easy to diagnose the condition, doctors do a detailed history to confirm the diagnosis. Hearing test, CT scan, and MRI may be used to confirm the diagnosis.
Management: There is no definitive treatment for this condition. However, various options have been proposed, and many people have found them to be helpful. Some commonly used measures including diet and cognitive therapy are listed below:
- Medications: There is no medication to attack the root cause. Medicines are used often to control dizziness, which is the most irritating symptom of this condition. Meclizine and diazepam are often used. In some people, gentamicin or corticosteroid injections are used. However, long-term use of gentamicin can cause hearing loss.
- Salt restriction: Reducing salt intake indirectly reduces the fluid retention in the body, which helps manage the blood pressure and vertigo
- Dietary changes: When a detailed history is taken, there are patterns which indicate that increased caffeine, chocolate, or alcohol worsen the symptoms. These are reduced with an intent to reduce the symptoms
- Pulse treatment: A pulse of air is pushed through to the inner ear, which helps in symptom relief. This device fits into the outer ear, and when the pulse of air is pushed through, it improves fluid circulation within the middle ear, which is believed to be a cause for the condition.
- Surgery: As a last resort, some surgical options are used:
- A shunt is placed in the middle ear to drain out the excess fluid and maintain balance.
- Labyrinthectomy may also be done to reduce symptoms, which may also involve removal of the eighth cranial nerve, which is believed to be the cause.
- Hearing aids can be used if the hearing loss is severe.
- Alternative medicines including acupressure and acupuncture are proven to reduce symptoms in some people.
- Herbs like gingko biloba and ginger root have also been used, not with proven effect though.
- Prevention: When possible, avoid
- Operating heavy machinery
- Use of ladders
- Being on terraces without somebody supervising
The human ear is divided into three parts, namely the outer, middle and inner ear. All these parts function in coherence with each other and help us in converting vibrations into sound and information. The middle ear consists of the air space between the inner ear and the outer ear and contains the bones that transmit the vibrations of the outer ear and translate them into information. This area is prone to infections, especially among children and thus may cause discomfort or pain.
Symptoms of middle ear infections-
Middle ear infections primarily tend to manifest themselves as inflammation of the tissues and buildup of fluids. Some of the symptoms are mentioned below.
Infections in children - Middle ear infections primarily occur in children although it can occur in adults as well. Some of the common symptoms could be:
a. Ear pain either sitting or standing up and especially while lying down
b. Irritability and crying, which is infants could translate to more than usual crying
c. Problems with sound and difficulties in hearing
d. Fluid buildup causing balance related problems
e. Discharge of fluid in certain cases
f. Unable to sleep and also loss of appetite
g. Some cases children may have high fever
Causes of middle ear infections-
The primary cause of middle ear infection is due to the presence of bacteria or virus in the area. The Eustachian tube, which runs from the middle ear to the back of the throat, is connected to nasal passages as well. Any infection that affects the throat or the nose may also affect the middle ear through this tube. Primary causes for the infections could be:
a. Cold or flu-like symptoms which then infect the middle ear as well
b. Otitis media, which is the buildup of fluid and inflammation either due to the presence of bacteria and viruses or even without it.
c. Seasonal infections which are common during late autumn or winters
d. Air pollution is also known to be a factor
e. Infection from others, especially in the case of children when they are part of a group care
f. Children from 6 months to 2 years are also susceptible to middle ear infections as their immune systems are much less developed.
Treatment of middle ear infections-
Usually, middle ear infections resolve on their own within a day or so. You can try warm compress with a soft piece of cloth to ease the pain. However, if pain persists for too long then antibiotic medications may be required to fight the infection with pain relief medications to lessen the pain and discomfort.