Perforated Ear Drum Video
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A hole, or perforation in the eardrum can occur from various causes. These include...
Ear infections- A severe ear infection can cause the ear drum to rupture and drainage to occur. Chronic ear infections can lead to permanent damage to the ear drum or hearing bones.
Direct trauma to the ear or head
Loud sudden noises like explosions
Inserting a foreign body in the ear and thru the ear drum
After ear surgery such as tube placement (rarely)
Most ear drum perforations heal on their own in a few weeks and require no intervention. While the hole is healing, care must be taken to keep the ear dry and keep all water out of the ear by using ear plugs.
If the perforation does not heal, hearing loss may result from the hole. In addition, the perforation can lead to an increased risk of infection in the ear. The physicians at Coastal Ear, Nose and Throat can evaluate your ear drum and may conduct an audiogram, or hearing test, to determine the degree of hearing loss from the perforation.
Treatment of the perforation depends on the size and location of the hole. The physician will evaluate the hole and may recommend one of several treatment options to close the perforation.
Paper patch tympanoplasty- small holes can sometimes be repaired in the office using the microscope to place a specialized patch over the perforation to promote repair of the ear drum
Fat patch myringoplasty- for larger holes, a piece of fat is harvested from the back of the earlobe and used to repair the ear drum.
Tympanoplasty- for even larger holes the ear drum is surgically reconstructed using tissue from behind the ear or ear cartilage. Depending on the patient, the incision for this surgery may be in the ear canal or behind the ear drum. If necessary, this surgery can be combined with repair of the ossicles (ear bones) or mastoid surgery to remove infection from the bone behind the ear.
All of these procedures are generally performed as an outpatient. The ear must be kept dry after surgery to allow the repair to heal. Complications are rare and successful repair of the ear drum with improvement in hearing can be accomplished in over 90% of perforations.
Learn more about the Ear and its conditions...