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Welcome to our health education library. The information shared below is provided to you as an educational and informational source only and is not intended to replace a medical examination or consultation, or medical advice given to you by a physician or medical professional.

Ruptured Eardrum

What is a ruptured eardrum?

A ruptured eardrum is a tear in the tympanic membrane, more commonly known as the eardrum. This is a thin, sheet-like tissue separating the outer ear canal from the middle ear. As the eardrum is an essential part in the hearing process, a hole or a tear through it results in hearing loss.

What are the symptoms of a ruptured eardrum?

A ruptured eardrum may present any of the following signs and symptoms:

  • Pain in the ears
  • Fluid draining from the ear (blood, pus or clear fluids)
  • Loss of hearing
  • Tinnitus
  • Vertigo
  • Nausea and vomiting

What causes ruptured eardrum?

A ruptured eardrum may result from:

  • Middle ear infection (otitis media)
  • Trauma (physical, loud sounds, high pressure)
  • Foreign objects in the ear

What are the complications of a ruptured eardrum?

If the ruptured eardrum fails to heal, it may result in:

  • Hearing loss
  • Middle ear infection (otitis media)
  • Middle ear cyst (cholesteatoma)

How is ruptured eardrum diagnosed?

Physicians can easily visualize a tear in the tympanic membrane with a simple instrument, the otoscope.

What is the treatment for ruptured eardrum?

Ruptured eardrums heal over the course of weeks even without treatment. This restores healing to the affected ear. In some cases, it is desirable to restore hearing sooner. An ENT specialist may cover the tear with an eardrum patch. In addition, he/she may recommend surgery if a patch is not sufficient to cover the ruptured membrane.

For innovative, state-of-the art facial plastic and ENT surgical care, come to SoCal ENT. To schedule your one-on-one consultation with Dr. Namazie, please call us at 818.986.5500, or you can use our online Request an Appointment form.




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