Ruptured Eardrum: Symptoms And Treatment

If the hole or tear in your eardrum does not heal on its own, then the perforated eardrum can be a major health concern. 

Sambhav Kumar
Written by: Sambhav KumarUpdated at: Mar 29, 2023 17:29 IST
 Ruptured Eardrum: Symptoms And Treatment

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Eardrum is said to be ruptured when a tear or hole is diagnosed in the thin membrane that separates the middle ear from the ear canal. It is also known as a tympanic membrane perforation. The eardrum is one of the important components that make up our hearing system. The sounds that cause eardrums to vibrate are collected by the outer ear. These vibrations generate a signal which is sent to the auditory nerve and conveys information to your brain. The messages are converted into sound by the brain. When the eardrum ruptures, it’s like a short circuit in your hearing system because your eardrum can't effectively transmit sound.

Most ruptured eardrums are caused by an infection or trauma to the ear. Infections can cause the eardrum to become inflamed. Trauma to the ear can be caused by a loud noise, a foreign object being inserted into the ear, or a barotrauma from rapid changes in air pressure. 

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Symptoms Of Ruptured Eardrum

Symptoms of a ruptured eardrum can include pain, dizziness, hearing loss, ringing in the ear (tinnitus), and drainage from the ear. Leakage of mucus and pus from ear. 

If the eardrum has been ruptured due to an infection, there may also be a fever and swollen lymph nodes. 

Is A Ruptured Eardrum  Dangerous Condition?

If the hole or tear in your eardrum does not heal on its own, then theperforated eardrum can be a major health concern . A ruptured eardrum can result in the following:

  • Hearing loss that has been present for a long time.
  • Long-term dizziness.
  • Dizziness that lasts a long time.
  • Infection that has the potential to spread in your ear.
  • Persistent perforation of the eardrum (hole).


Treatment for a ruptured eardrum varies depending on the cause. If the eardrum is ruptured due to infection, antibiotics will be prescribed by the ENT doctor. If the eardrum is ruptured due to trauma, it is usually left to heal itself. If your eardrum does not heal on its own, your doctor may patch it. Patching consists of applying a medicated paper patch to the tear in the membrane. The patch promotes the regrowth of the membrane. Surgery may be required in more severe cases.

 If you have signs or symptoms of an eardrum rupture, contact your doctor. The middle and inner ear contain sensitive tissues that are prone to damage or contamination. It is critical to try to ascertain the origin of ear problems and whether a ruptured eardrum has happened.