The eardrum is a thin tissue stretched across the ear canal. It protects the inner ear and plays an important role in our ability to hear and recognise sounds. However, because of its delicate construction, it may be perforated or ruptured due to an infection, trauma or damage to the ear. Symptoms of a perforated eardrum include a ringing noise in the ears, vertigo, hearing loss and fluid or blood in the ear canal.
Here are a few tips to deal with perforated eardrum pain.
- Keep the ear dry: If you have a ruptured eardrum, you may bathe and shower normally but do not allow water or soap to enter the ears. Placing a wad of cotton or gauze over the ear can help protect the ear. While showering you may hold the cotton in place with your finger by applying light pressure on the same. Do not press it too hard or try to plug the ear completely. Some water may fall off your fingers but this will be absorbed by the cotton and will not enter the ear. Remove this cotton or gauze only after you have finished towelling yourself.
- Do not plug the ears: It is a normal reaction to plug the ears with cotton or gauze if you notice blood or any other fluid flowing from the ear. However, this should never be done. Plugging the ears will trap the fluid within the ear and promote bacterial infections. This can aggravate the perforation even further. Instead, keep the ear canal open and as dry as possible. Slowly the bleeding will cease and a clot will be formed on its own.
- Rest: As far as possible avoid travelling if you have a ruptured eardrum. Instead, stay at home and get some rest. Though the rest of your body may feel fine, it needs rest and recuperation to build up its immunity and heal. Try to lie on your side so that the ear with the perforated eardrum facing downwards. This will help the blood and fluids accumulated inside drain out.
- Take the prescribed medicine: A ruptured eardrum can be painful and hence your doctor is likely to prescribe pain relievers. Follow this prescription strictly and continue taking the medication until the course is completed. Do not stop midway without consulting your doctor. Also, do not overdose or self-medicate with over the counter pain relievers.