Perorated Ear Drums: Treatment TM- Repair
A ruptured, or perforated, eardrum is a tear in the thin membrane that separates the inner ear from the middle ear. The eardrum is an important part of how we hear, as it is instrumental in the process of converting a sound wave that enters the ear into an electrical signal that gets sent to the brain.
The eardrum also works as a barrier to keep water and other objects from entering the middle ear.
What Causes a Perforated Eardrum?
Ear infections are the most common cause of a ruptured eardrum. An infection in the middle ear creates pressure; this pressure pushes against the eardrum. If the pressure gets too great, the eardrum can tear.
Pressure changes, such as what occurs when a plane changes altitude quickly, can also cause a tear. Foreign objects inserted into the ear, head injury or acoustic trauma resulting from an extremely loud noise have been known to cause tears to the eardrum as well.
How Is a Perforated Eardrum Treated?
Treatment: Tympanic Membrane Repair
The treatment for a tear in the eardrum is minimal; usually the eardrum will heal on its own within three months. To prevent ear infections, you may be prescribed antibiotic drops. To prevent pain, over-the-counter pain medication can be taken.
If the eardrum is slow to heal or the perforation is too large, surgery may be needed. Your doctor will use a piece of your own tissue to mend the tear in a simple, outpatient procedure.