What Causes Perforation?

Ear CarePerforated eardrums can be the result of an infection, chronic disorders with the Eustachian tubes and trauma. Trauma can cause perforated eardrums as the result of:

  • The ear being hit directly
  • Fracture of the skull
  • After there was a sudden explosion
  • An object being stuck too deep into the ear canal, such as a Q-tip or a bobby pin

Having a middle ear infection may cause discomfort, loss of hearing and a spontaneous tearing of the eardrum, which in the end results in a perforation. In these particular instances, there may be an infection or a bloody type of drainage from the ear. Medically, this is known as perforation accompanied by otitis media. Some of the symptoms associated with this include a feeling of fullness within the ear, hearing loss, fever and pain.

Patients who have recurring Eustachian tube problems within the eardrum may notice a weakening or perforation. On certain occasions, a tiny hole may end up remaining inside of the eardrum after a tube that has already been inserted into the ear falls out or the physician removes it. Most of the perforations are the result of an ear infection or trauma.

Normally, these issues will heal on their own within a few weeks of rupturing, but there are instances where it may take months before the healing process is complete. Throughout the healing process, the ear needs to remain protected from any potential trauma or water. Perforations in the eardrum that do not heal on their own may end up needing surgery down the road.

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