Eardrum Perforation in Tarzana

Eardrum Perforation - Marc Cohen M.D, Tarzana Surgeon

Eardrum Perforation

A tympanic membrane (eardrum) perforation, or ruptured eardrum, occurs when there's a tear of the eardrum - the thin membrane separating your middle ear from the outer ear.

A ruptured eardrum should heal on its own in a matter of weeks provided it stays dry and free of any infections. However, there are a few instances when treatment is needed.

Causes of eardrum perforation

Your eardrum may rupture due to:

  • Acoustic trauma - sudden loud noise, like an explosion
  • Barotrauma - sudden change in air pressure in your ear - like during scuba diving
  • Middle ear infection (otitis media) - associated fluid buildup can increase pressure in the middle ear relative to the outer ear
  • Physical injury - piercing the eardrum with an earbud, match stick, or other object
  • Physical trauma to the ear or head - like a slap or sports injury
  • Eustachian tube disorders - rare
  • Accident during ear syringing - less common

Diagnosis and treatment for eardrum perforation

A ruptured eardrum can be very painful. It can also cause tinnitus (ringing in the ear), hearing loss, pus or bloody drainage from the ear, vertigo, and nausea and vomiting due to the dizziness. If you experience any of these symptoms, you should visit an ENT specialist for proper diagnosis and treatment.

To determine if you have a ruptured eardrum, Dr. Cohen will perform several tests, including:

  • An otoscope exam - visual inspection of your ear canal
  • Fluids tests - to check for infections in the ear discharge
  • An audiology exam - to test your eardrum capacity and hearing range
  • Tympanometry - to test your eardrum's response to changes in pressure

Appropriate treatments will then be administered to relieve pain, prevent/treat infections (antibiotics), and in rare cases, patch the tear in the membrane through surgery. Please visit Dr. Cohen to discuss the specific details of your case.