Perforated Ear Drum
What Is It?
A perforation is a hole in the eardrum.
What Causes It?
- direct injury;
- forceful air pressure – a loud explosion, a slap injury, falling from water skis etc
- foreign body – any object that can fit into the ear may injure the ear drum
- barotrauma (Aerotitis);
- severe negative pressure when diving or flying can burst the eardrum
- acute middle ear infections can burst out through the layers of the eardrum
- in rare cases acute fungal infection can erode the layers of the ear drum
How Does It Affect People?
- immediate and usually severe with direct injury
- gradual increase as the eardrum stretches or pressure increases
- hearing loss;
- perforations can lead to a 30-60dB hearing loss
- frequent discharging ear/infection;
- water entering the middle ear through the perforation leads to infections
- difficulty wearing hearing aids – blocking the ear canal creates a humid environment leading to infection
- restricted water activities;
- the fear of getting ear infection stops them swimming etc
How To Help Yourself?
- ear canals are best kept clear and dry – see our How To Keep Your Ears Dry page
- flap or blow air in to keep moisture from building up
- keep shower/bath water out of a perforated ear
- call in regularly for a FREE Ear Canal Check
If you experience pain, discharge or blocking – book an appointment NOW!
How TOLBECS Could Help You?
- acute episode;
- we gently clean any debris away and assess your eardrum
- we tell you all the ways you can help a perforation heal
- we reassess your ears regularly and inform you of the healing progress
- discharging ears;
- we meticulously clean the ear canal
- we may take a sample of the infection to send to your GP
- your GP may prescribe ear drops to kill the infection
- we will show you your ear on our screens
- we will advise what to do next
- long standing perforations;
- if the perforation is dry but preventing you from leading your normal full life
We may recommend a referral to an ENT specialist who may consider surgical patching of the perforation.
Ear trouble? Book an appointment now!