Perforated eardrum

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Perforated eardrum
Classification and external resources
Specialty Lua error in Module:Wikidata at line 446: attempt to index field 'wikibase' (a nil value).
ICD-10 H72, S09.2
ICD-9-CM 384.2
DiseasesDB 13473
MedlinePlus 001038
eMedicine ent/206
Patient UK Perforated eardrum
MeSH C09.218.903
[[[d:Lua error in Module:Wikidata at line 863: attempt to index field 'wikibase' (a nil value).|edit on Wikidata]]]

A perforated eardrum or punctured eardrum is a rupture or perforation (hole) of the eardrum which can occur as a result of otitis media (ear infection), trauma (e.g. by trying to clean the ear with sharp instruments), explosion, loud noise or surgery (accidental creation of a rupture). Flying with a severe cold can also cause perforation due to changes in air pressure and blocked eustachian tubes resulting from the cold. This is especially true on landing.[medical citation needed]

Perforation of the eardrum leads to conductive hearing loss, which is usually temporary. Other symptoms may include tinnitus, earache or a discharge of mucus.[1]


The perforation may heal in a few weeks, or may take up to a few months.[2] Some perforations require intervention. This may take the form of a paper patch to promote healing (a simple procedure by an ear, nose and throat specialist), or surgery (tympanoplasty).[3] However, in some cases, the perforation can last several years and will be unable to heal naturally. Such cases are usually a result of a perforation being surgically induced during an operation involving the ear.

Hearing is usually recovered fully, but chronic infection over a long period may lead to permanent hearing loss. Those with more severe ruptures may need to wear an ear plug to avoid contact with water with the ear drum.