A perforated eardrum, also known as a ruptured eardrum, is a hole or tear in the eardrum that has formed. Hearing loss can occur, and the severity of hearing loss varies greatly. Furthermore, if the microscopic bones (ossicles) are injured in addition to the eardrum, the hearing loss will be much worse than if the ossicles are punctured only slightly.

Besides, you are more likely to acquire an ear infection if you have a perforation. This is because the eardrum generally serves as a barricade to bacteria and other pathogens that may enter the middle ear.


Symptoms of a perforated eardrum may include:

  • Hearing impairment
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Ear discharge that is mucus-like, pus-filled, or bloody
  • Throbbing in your ears
  • Dizziness


A visual check with a lighting device is used to diagnose perforated eardrums by your doctor. He may perform or prescribe more tests to discover the origin of your ear issues or to identify any hearing problems. Among these tests are:

Lab Test. This is to look for a bacterial infection in your middle ear.

Tympanometry. It is a device put into the ear canal and analyzes the eardrum’s reaction to minor variations in air pressure. 

Audiology Test.  This is a set of well-standardized tests that assess how well you hear the sounds at various volumes and tones. The testing is carried out in a soundproof laboratory.

Tuning Fork Assessment. It indicates if your hearing loss results from impairment to the vibrating portions of your eardrum.


Usually, perforated eardrums heal on their own in a few weeks. If your eardrum rip or hole does not heal on its own, treatment will most likely include operations to seal the tear or hole. These might include:

Eardrum patch. The doctor may administer a substance to the borders of the tear to stimulate eardrum healing, followed by applying a patch over the hole. Before the hole closes, the operation may have to be performed many times.

Tympanoplasty Surgery. This is done by sealing the hole in the eardrum and attaching a portion of your own tissue performed by your doctor.

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