Ruptured eardrum, medically known as perforated tympanic member, is a condition characterized by tearing of the eardrum or creation of a hole in the eardrum, which is a thin tissue that separates the middle ear from the ear canal. Ruptured eardrum can lead to hearing loss as well as makes the middle ear prone to other injuries and infections.
In most of the cases, the ruptured eardrum gets healed with few weeks time, without the need for any treatment. However, in few serious cases, a medical procedure for promoting its healing, or surgical repair might be required.
Causes Of Ruptured Eardrum
Our eardrum vibrates whenever any sound waves hit on it. These vibrations pass through bones that are present in our middle ear and then stimulate the inner ear, which in turn sends nerve impulses to our brain. In case the eardrum gets damaged, the process of hearing is hindered.
Ear infection is the biggest and most plausible cause behind ruptured eardrum, and the condition is most commonly seen in children. Due to this infection, a fluid or pus builds up behind our eardrum and starts exerting excess pressure on it. Due to this pressure, the eardrum rupture may occur.
Besides this, the eardrum may also get damaged due to extremely loud noise or acoustic trauma, entrance of any foreign object inside the ear, variation in pressure between the outside and inside of the eardrum, which is quite common during driving in mountains, scuba diving, and flying, and insertion of cotton swabs or other tiny objects for cleaning the ear.
Treatment For Ruptured Eardrum
The ultimate goals of the treatment for ruptured eardrum is to alleviate the pain, prevent the infection, or treat it if the infection has already occurred.
Applying warmth of the ear can be quite helpful for relieving the discomfort caused due to ruptured eardrum. Keeping the ear dry and clean is essential, especially during the time when it is healing.
Put cotton balls inside the ear when shampooing or taking a shower in order to prevent the water from entering inside the ear. Avoid putting your head beneath the surface of the water while swimming. In fact, it is advisable to avoid swimming completely till the time the infection has healed completely.
Antibiotics in the form of ear drops or oral medications are often used to treat the infection or prevent it if it hasn’t occurred as yet. Over the counter medications such as painkillers are also used for relieving the pain.
In case the ruptured eardrum is unable to heal itself on its own, surgical repair, also called tympanoplasty, may be used for repairing the perforation that might have occurred. In case you are diagnosed with ruptured eardrum, follow all the direction given by your doctor properly.
In some cases, health care providers place a patch on the eardrum to quicken up the process of healing of the eardrum. With the help of the above mentioned treatment options for ruptured eardrum, you will be able to return back to your normal condition within no time.