Hearing & Balance
The physicians and staff of the ENT Group of Los Angeles have put together the following resources in order to better assist you.
Eardrum perforation is a hole in the eardrum that is most often caused by a middle ear infection. It can also be caused by a sudden change in pressure caused by a loud noise, flying in an airplane or an object placed in the ear. If an object penetrates the eardrum, it can also sometimes fracture the small bones called ossicles within the inner ear.
Eardrum perforation causes severe pain and can also result in bleeding from the ear and hearing loss. The hearing loss can be severe if the ossicles are broken. A perforation is diagnosed by a doctor simply looking in the ear with a special instrument called an otoscope. A hearing test is also sometimes performed to verify hearing loss.
The most important treatment for a perforated eardrum is keeping the ear completely dry. Keeping water away from the ear usually allows it to heal by itself. Other treatment options include antibiotics and ear drops if the ear is infected. For rare cases when the ear does not heal within 2 months, surgery may be performed to repair the eardrum. This surgery, called tympanoplasty, can help heal severe injuries with hearing loss as well. Tissue from the back of the ear is placed underneath the remaining eardrum to provide closure. See your doctor immediately if you think you have a perforated eardrum.