Table of contents:
- Main symptoms
- How to confirm the diagnosis
- Which doctor to consult
- What causes perforated eardrum
- How the treatment is done
2023 Author: Benjamin Dyson | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-21 01:37
When the eardrum is perforated, it is normal for a person to feel pain and itching in the ear, in addition to having impaired hearing and even bleeding from the ear. Usually a small perforation heals on its own, but larger ones may require antibiotics, and when that is not enough, minor surgery may be required.
The eardrum, also called the tympanic membrane, is a membrane that separates the outer ear from the middle ear. It is important for hearing and when it is perforated, the person's hearing capacity decreases and can lead to deafness in the long term if not treated correctly.
Therefore, whenever you suspect a ruptured eardrum, or any other hearing disorder, it is important to consult an otolaryngologist to identify the problem and initiate the most appropriate treatment.
Signs and symptoms that may indicate that the eardrum may be perforated are:
- Intense earache that comes on suddenly;
- Sudden loss of hearing ability;
- Itchy ear;
- Blood out of the ear;
- Yellow discharge in the ear due to the presence of viruses or bacteria;
- Ringing in the ear;
- There may be fever, dizziness and vertigo.
Often, eardrum perforation heals on its own without the need for treatment and without complications such as total hearing loss, but in any case, an otolaryngologist should be consulted so that he can assess whether there is any type of infection in the ear. inner region of the ear, which needs antibiotics to facilitate healing.
How to confirm the diagnosis
The diagnosis of a perforated eardrum is usually made by an otolaryngologist, who uses a special device, called an otoscope, which allows the doctor to visualize the tympanic membrane, checking for any type of hole. If so, the eardrum is considered perforated.
In addition to checking that the eardrum is perforated, the doctor may also look for signs of an infection which, if present, needs to be treated with antibiotics to allow the eardrum to heal.
Which doctor to consult
It is recommended to see an otolaryngologist if there is a suspicion that the eardrum is perforated, especially if there are signs of infection such as secretion or bleeding, and whenever there is significant hearing loss or deafness in one ear.
What causes perforated eardrum
The most common cause of eardrum perforation is ear infection, also known as otitis media or externa, but it can also happen when objects are introduced into the ear, which especially affects babies and children, due to improper use of the ear. cotton swab, in an accident, explosion, very loud noise, skull fractures, deep diving or during a plane trip, for example.
How the treatment is done
Small eardrum perforations usually return to normal within a few weeks, but it can take up to 2 months for the membrane to fully regenerate. During this period it is necessary to use a small piece of cotton in the ear whenever you take a shower, do not blow your nose, and do not go to the beach or pool to avoid the risk of water getting into the ear, which can lead to the appearance of a infection. Ear washing is totally contraindicated until the lesion has healed properly.
Tympanic perforation does not always need to be treated with drugs, but when there are signs of an ear infection or when the membrane has completely ruptured, the doctor may indicate, for example, the use of antibiotics such as neomycin or polymyxin with corticosteroids in the form of drops to drip into the affected ear, but it can also indicate the use of antibiotics in the form of tablets or syrups such as amoxicillin, amoxicillin + clavulanate and chloramphenicol, the infection being normally fought between 8 and 10 days. In addition, the use of medication to relieve pain may be indicated by the doctor.
When surgery is indicated
Surgery to correct a perforated eardrum, also called tympanoplasty, is usually indicated when the membrane does not fully regenerate after 2 months of rupture. In this case, the symptoms must persist and the person returns to the doctor for a new evaluation.
Surgery is also indicated if, in addition to the perforation, the person has a fracture or compromise of the bones that form the ear, and this is more common when there is an accident or head trauma, for example.
The surgery can be done under general anesthesia and can be done by placing a graft, which is a small piece of skin from another region of the body, and putting it in place of the eardrum. After the surgery, the person should rest, wear the dressing for 8 days, removing it in the office. It is not recommended to exercise for the first 15 days and it is not recommended to fly for 2 months.