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How to treat a ruptured eardrum

A ruptured eardrum also known as perforated tympanic membrane is a hole or tear found in the eardrum which is a thin tissue that separates the ear from the middle ear. A ruptured eardrum can cause loss of hearing and makes the middle ear susceptible to injury or infections. A ruptured eardrum usually heals in just a few days but sometimes a ruptured eardrum requires repair in order to heal.

Symptoms of a ruptured eardrum

  • A ringing in the ear also known as tinnitus
  • There is loss of hearing
  • Experiencing vertigo which is a spinning sensation and causing nausea as well as vomiting
  • Pain in the ear that subsides quickly
  • A clear, pus-filled and bloody drainage coming out of the ears.
Ruptured eardrum

Rupture of eardrum can be caused from a loud sound or blast such as an explosion or a gunshot.

Causes of a ruptured eardrum

  • Can be caused by a middle ear infection also known as otitis media which is caused by the accumulation of fluids in the middle ear and pressure that is caused by this fluid can result in the rupture of the eardrum.
  • A ruptured eardrum can cause a barotrauma which is stress that is exerted to the eardrum when air pressure found in the middle ear and air pressure found in the environment are not balanced, and if the pressure is very severe it can rupture the eardrum. Barotrauma is also known as airplane ear. Other activities that causes a sudden change in pressure or a ruptured eardrum such as scuba diving and a direct blow to the ear.
  • Rupture of eardrum can be caused from a loud sound or blast such as an explosion or a gunshot.
  • Ruptured eardrum can also be caused by a severe injury such as a skull fracture which can cause the dislocation and damage to the structures of the inner and middle ear and also the eardrum.
  • Ruptured eardrum can also be caused by presence of foreign objects inside the ear such as cotton swabs or hairpins since they can puncture an eardrum.

Treatment and home remedies

  • Keep the ears dry, use a shower cap or apply Vaseline on cotton balls and put them inside the ears while taking a bath or showering to make sure the area around the ears are dry and avoid swimming or submerging the head while there is still infection in the ears.
  • Avoid using cotton swabs in cleaning the ears while it is still in the healing process
  • Minimize the pain in the ear by applying a hot compress or a heating pad into the affected area. It can soothe the swelling and minimize the pain. You can learn the effectiveness of these measures by enrolling in a first aid course.
  • Seek medical help if experiencing fever or pus-like discharge in the ears.
  • Avoid blowing of the nose while in the process of healing since the pressure created during the process can make the rupture worse. Provide protection to the ears from cold air by wearing a hat or ear muffs.

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