Get help from best doctors, anonymously
Common Specialities
{{speciality.keyWord}}
Common Issues
{{issue.keyWord}}
Common Treatments
{{treatment.keyWord}}

Ear Drum Perforations: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment!

Written and reviewed by
Dr. Manni Hingorani 90% (35 ratings)
MS - ENT, MBBS
ENT Specialist, Delhi  •  16 years experience
Ear Drum Perforations: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment!

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,

  1. Sharp pain that subsides quickly
  2. Ear fluid release
  3. Ringing sound in the ear (tinnitus)
  4. Partial or complete hearing loss
  5. 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.

2495 people found this helpful