However, it’s a good idea to visit a doctor if you believe your eardrum has ruptured because this condition can lead to issues like ear infections.
Symptoms of an eardrum perforation
The following are symptoms of an ear infection brought on by a perforated eardrum:
- Unexpected hearing loss – you may have trouble hearing things or slightly muddled hearing
- Ear discomfort or an earache
- Scratching in your ears
- Your ear is dripping fluid
- Elevated temperature
- Your ears are buzzing or ringing (tinnitus)
Once your eardrum has healed, the symptoms will often go away.
When to see a doctor
See a doctor if:
- You believe you have a punctured eardrum
- You’ve already visited a doctor, but your symptoms haven’t improved after a few weeks, or you’ve developed new symptoms
In most cases, your eardrum will heal on its own, but a doctor can examine you for an infection and instructs you on how to take care of your ears.
Eardrum perforation causes
A ruptured eardrum may result from the following:
- Infection in the ears
- An injury to the eardrum, such as being struck or sticking like a cotton bud deep into it
- Pressure changes that occur while scuba diving or flying
- An explosion or other unexpected loud sound
Eardrum perforation treatments
A doctor may recommend antibiotics if your perforated eardrum is the source of your ear infection.
Your doctor may recommend seeing an ear specialist to discuss having surgery to fix a perforated eardrum if the hole is much large or does not close up within a few weeks.
Things you can do if you undergo perforated eardrum
It is not usually necessary to treat perforated eardrums because they frequently heal on their own within several days.
The following will help you alleviate your discomfort and lower your risk of infection:
- Never insert anything into your ear, even cotton buds or eardrops
- Avoid swimming, take extra precautions when showering or washing your hair, and avoid getting water in your ears
- Avoid blowing your nose too forcefully since this could harm your eardrum as it recovers
- To ease any discomfort, press a warm towel on your ear
- Use medications like paracetamol or ibuprofen to reduce discomfort
Reviewed by – Dr. Priyanka, MBBS MD Microbiology
Page last reviewed: 30 September 2022