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Ruptured Eardrum Pain and Treatment

ruptured eardrum can be an extremely painful ailment to endure for some people while others may not even be aware that it has ruptured. Ruptured eardrums can vary in how they make themselves known, as some ruptured eardrums are felt immediately and cause a sharp pain in one’s ear. Other ruptured ear drums may only feel like a mild ear ache that eventually goes away while still others feel no pain. A ruptured ear drum can be a worrisome ailment as it can lead to a severe middle ear infection and even something as serious as hearing loss. Some ruptured eardrums may require surgery, but in most cases a ruptured eardrum will heal itself without treatment over the span of just a couple of months.

Painting the Picture of a Ruptured Eardrum

When your inner ear separates from your outer ear due to a thin tear in the thin membrane that separates the two, the result is a ruptured eardrum. The eardrum has two major functions, the first being that it senses vibrating sound waves and converts the vibration into nerve impulses that are then conveyed to the brain, making it possible for you to hear. The second major function of the eardrum is to protect your middle ear from bacteria, water and foreign objects. It is important for the middle ear to stay sterile. When the ear drum ruptures, bacteria can enter into the middle ear and cause a serious infection known as otitis media.

Causes of a Ruptured Eardrum

There are a handful of occurrences that will cause a ruptured ear drum. An ear infection is probably the number one cause of a ruptured ear drum, followed by a foreign object breaching it. Often times children will stick a cotton swab or small toy into their ear that will rupture the eardrum. Other causes are when the pressure on the inside of the ear is significantly different from that of the outside of the ear. This can happen during airplane travel and is also a common problem among avid scuba divers. A serious head injury or a forceful slap to the ear can also result in a ruptured eardrum. Acoustic trauma caused by a sudden loud noise, explosion or blast of music can also rupture an eardrum.

Ruptured Eardrum Surgery (Myringoplasty)

If your ruptured eardrum is severe or does not heal, you may need surgery. The procedure used to repair a perforated eardrum is known as a myringoplasty. Not only can myringoplasty repair your eardrum, it can help reduce your risk of getting ear infections and may even help improve your hearing. The doctors at ENT Specialists usually carry out the procedure under general anesthetic. One of our qualified surgeons will use a microscope and very small surgical equipment to graft the hole in your eardrum with a small piece of tissue, which is usually taken from just in front of or behind your ear. If necessary, we will also make a small cut behind your ear so we can access your eardrum more easily. After the procedure, we will place a dressing inside your ear canal and cotton wool padding over your ear, held in place with a bandage. You may also have some stitches.

ENT Specialists will properly care for your ruptured eardrum and help you get back to a full recovery. Contact ENT Specialist today for excellent ear, nose and throat care.

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