Experienced a sudden earache or a sharp pain in the ear that disappeared suddenly and now feeling ‘something is not right inside the ear’? Try out a small test by blowing your nose slightly and check if little air trying to rush out of your ear, may be also with a buzzing. It could be an ‘eardrum rupture’. Scary? Check out the other common systems:
- Ear drainage (bloodstained/ clear)
- Feeling of hearing loss
- Ringing in the ear (tinnitus)
- Ear infections
- Dizziness (vertigo)
- Facial weakness
Eardrum is a cone-shaped thin skin that functions as a wall between the outer ear and middle ear. It transmits sounds from the air to the middle ear by converting and amplifying vibration in air andprotects the middle ear from infections or foreign objects entering. An eardrum rupture is a tear/scratch in this thin skin.
An infection in the middle ear itself is a cause for an eardrum rupture. Pressure buildups inside the ear due to the infection, and then pushes and perforates the eardrum.
A sudden and forceful blow on the head due to a fall or an accident could give unexpected pressure affecting the eardrum.
This is the condition when the pressure outside the ear is not equal to the pressure inside the ear. This could happen for travellers in airplane, or scuba divers.
Exposure to loud noise
Sudden loud blast of an explosive, music, thundering, fire-crackers, etc. give large amount of pressure at once to the eardrum and ruptures it.
Poking the ear with an external object
It is very common that we attempt to poke an object (pin, or cotton buds) inside the ear to clear the wax that irritates. These foreign objects can easily damage the eardrum.
ENT specialists in India diagnose a perforated eardrum through an ‘otoscopic exam’ – physically examining the ear using an instrument that produces a bright light.Not all ruptured eardrums need treatments and the majority of them heal within 2-3 months. Your doctor may prescribe few antibiotic and painkiller medications or eardrops, clear the ear canal if wax or drainage have accumulated and clean it if the site is infected. An ‘audiology test’ is also performed to check if the eardrum rupture has resulted in hearing loss. Impaired hearing is temporary and returns normal when rupture heals.
In more severe cases, ENT specialists in India place a patch over the ruptured eardrum. If it requires a further repair, a minor procedure is performed on an outpatient basis. This is a simple surgery to fix a tiny piece of tissue in place of ruptured skin, which only takes a few hours. At this instance the healing process is little longer and you should strictly follow the doctor’s instructions on continuing the medications, avoiding cold air, refraining from blowing your nose, etc.
Eardrum rupture is not an issue to worry about – consult our best ENT specialists in India for the best and effective treatment.