A ruptured eardrum can bring sudden pain and dizziness.
They typically heal on their own, but the process can take some time. In order to identify a ruptured eardrum in Blue Bell, we’ve gathered some information about symptoms, causes and treatment.
Symptoms of a Ruptured Eardrum
The tympanic membrane is the medical term for the eardrum.
This thin tissue acts as a barrier between the ear canal and middle ear.
A rupture occurs when the tissue tears.
It is sometimes referred to as an eardrum perforation or tympanic membrane perforation.
The severity of your symptoms will depend upon the size of the tear. People with ruptured eardrums in Blue Bell might experience the following:
- Severe ear pain
- Hearing loss in the affected ear
- Drainage from the ear (this may contain blood)
- A ringing, buzzing or similar sensation in the ear
- A plugged-up feeling in the ear
- Dizziness or loss of balance
- A whistling sound in the ear, most noticeable when blowing the nose
The ear pain can disappear as suddenly as it started, or it may linger.
Ruptured Eardrum Causes
There are a number of different factors that can cause a perforation of the eardrum. The most common include:
- Ear infection. When fluid collects behind the eardrum, enough pressure can build up to cause a tear.
- Injury or trauma to the ear. Because the tympanic membrane tissue is so thin, any direct blow to the ear can cause a tear.
- Inserting an object into the ear. Sticking anything in your ears can cause a tear in the tissue. Avoid putting cotton swabs, safety pins, pencils and anything else in the ears!
- Loud noise. Gunshots, explosions, loud music and more can cause the eardrum to rupture. This can also cause hearing loss and a ringing in the ears lasting for hours – or even days.
- Ear barotrauma. Barotrauma is damage to the ears caused by a change in air or water pressure. The Eustachian tube is responsible for equalizing pressure in the ears; sudden pressure changes, like those experienced by scuba divers and airline passengers, sometimes create a vacuum effect that forces the eardrum inward and causes it to stretch; this can lead to a perforation.
Treatments for an Eardrum Rupture
Even though many ruptured eardrums heal on their own, the process can take several months.
It’s best to see a Blue Bell ear, nose and throat specialist for treatment as soon as possible. This will help speed up the healing process and bring you relief from discomfort.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen will help reduce pain and swelling.
A warm compress pressed against the ear will also help. Your ENT doctor may prescribe oral antibiotics or eardrops to help fight off infection.
If none of these yields results, you may have to undergo a surgical procedure called a tympanostomy to repair the hole.
Keep your ear dry while recovering so you don’t develop an infection and try not to blow your nose too much.
If you have no choice, blow gently, through one nostril at a time.
For more information on eardrum perforations, talk to a Blue Bell ENT specialist.
Related Ear, Nose and Throat Posts:
- When Should You See an ENT?
- Hearing Loss: Could Your Child Be Suffering?
- What’s Causing My Summer Nosebleed?
North Philadelphia ENT Office Locations
1777 Sentry Parkway West, VEVA 11, Suite 100
Blue Bell, PA 19422
920 Lawn Ave, Suite 7
Sellersville, PA 18960
909 Sumneytown Pike, #103
Spring House, PA 19477