PERFORATION IN THE EAR DRUM

Perforation in the ear drum

The ear drum, also known as the tympanic membrane, separates the middle ear from the outer ear or ear canal. A perforation in the ear drum may occur due to trauma, infection in the middle ear, foreign body in the ear, sudden pressure changes or an infection in the ear drum.

Most perforated eardrums heal without treatment within a few weeks. You may be prescribed oral medication along with ear drops if there is evidence of infection. However, in case the perforation resulted from trauma, you are advised to avoid allowing water from entering the ear or instilling ear drops or oil. Traumatic perforations have a high rate of recovery in the absence of infection or discharge and my heal in 6-8 weeks.

If the tear or hole in your eardrum doesn't heal by itself, treatment will likely involve a procedure to close the hole. Patching may be done for smaller perforations where a chemical applied to edges of the hole and patching is done with paper or fat. This is a day care procedure and may be repeated to promote drum healing!

The most common surgical procedure is called tympanoplasty. It may also be done endoscopically depending on the size of the perforation. Your own tissue is used as a graft to repair the drum