What is a perforated eardrum?
A perforated eardrum is a rupture or hole in the membrane that separates the middle ear from the outer ear. This injury can cause infections due to bacteria entering the ear, even leading to hearing loss.
What are the symptoms of a perforated eardrum?
When a patient has a ruptured eardrum, apart from noticing a decrease in hearing, which will be more or less severe depending on the size and location of the lesion, he or she may also suffer other symptoms:
- Ear pain
- Discharge with pus or blood
- Sensation of congestion
- Noise inside the ears
What are the causes of a perforated eardrum?
The eardrum is a structure that can rupture due to
- Very loud noise
- Sudden change in pressure
- Use of certain objects to clean the ears
Can a perforated eardrum be prevented?
Although in many cases the causes of eardrum perforation cannot be prevented, in other cases it can be prevented by avoiding introducing objects into the ear canal, even if only to clean it. Thus, it is also recommended not to use cotton swabs to clean the ears.
What is the treatment of a perforated eardrum?
In general, a perforated eardrum heals on its own within weeks or months and in most cases hearing is fully restored. Otherwise, the patient will need to have a type of surgery called tympanoplasty.
Milder cases are usually cured simply by following a series of recommendations: avoiding water entering the ear, taking antibiotics and even with the placement of a patch over the eardrum by the physician.