Prognosis for a Ruptured Eardrum

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A ruptured eardrum is painful and uncomfortable and can affect how well you hear things. Fortunately, while they take a long time to heal, ruptured eardrums generally heal on their own without medical intervention.

What is a ruptured eardrum?

  • A rubtured eardrum means that there is a tear or perforation in the tympanic membrane, the structure on which sounds vibrate in your ear. This condition is often very painful and can lead to temporary deafness in the affected ear.

What causes a ruptured eardrum?

  • Your eardrum can rupture by an extremely loud sound, by extreme changes in barometric pressure, by inserting foreign objects into your ear and, occasionally, by an ear infection.

Symptoms

  • Drainage from the ear, a buzzing or ringing sound, extreme pain, dizziness, facial weakness and hearing loss may signify a ruptured eardrum.

Prognosis

  • Ruptured eardrums, while painful, usually heal on their own in about two months. However, the tympanic membrane acts as a shield against bacteria, so a tear in this shield may make it easier to contract ear infections.

    Because of this, your doctor may prescribe a preventative antibiotic ear drop.

Treatment

  • If the eardrum does not heal correctly within two months, the doctor may have to perform an operation to help it heal correctly.

    In addition, a small patch may be sewn onto your eardrum to promote healing.

    Pain relievers like Tylenol or Advil can be used to help alleviate pain.

References

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