Eardrum perforation or rupture is a hole in the eardrum that can happen for a variety of reasons. Eardrum perforation can result in hearing loss. It can also make the middle ear vulnerable to infection and injury. A small rupture usually heals without treatment within weeks, but larger holes require treatment. This incidence of this condition is seen the most in the middle age group, in both genders. The incidence is estimated at 6.8 per 1000 persons in a year in India, which means around 9 million cases per year.
Symptoms of eardrum perforation include:
- Sudden hearing loss
- Earache or pain in the ear
- Itching in the ear
- Fluid leaking from ear
- A high-temperature fever
- Ringing or buzzing in the ear
When to see a doctor?
See a doctor if you or your loved ones experience the above-mentioned symptoms. Always trust leading medical institutions like Paras Hospitals group, which have specialized departments for treatment and care for such conditions.
Causes and Risk Factors
Ear perforation or rupture can be caused by:
- Ear infections can cause accumulation of fluid, which can cause pressure leading to rupturing of the eardrum
- Trauma such as getting hit in the ear, ear injury during sports, falling on the ear, car accidents or while trying to clean the ear with sharp instruments
- Loud noise (an explosion for instance)
- Pressure changes while flying in a plane, driving at high altitudes, or scuba diving
Risk Factors include:
- Poor ear hygiene
- Professions with loud noises i.e. military, construction, discotheques and clubs etc.
Treatments and Management
Like mentioned above, most small perforations in the eardrum heal without the need for treatment, while a doctor might suggest antibiotics for infections. But larger holes, and those that don’t heal require:
- Eardrum patch: An ENT specialist seals ruptured eardrums with a patch.
- Surgery: If the patch doesn’t work, or is not applicable, surgery is required. The ENT specialist will graft a tiny patch of your own tissue and plug the hole in the eardrum with it.