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Causes and Symptoms of a Ruptured Eardrum

The eardrum is a thin membrane that separates the middle ear and the ear canal. When sound is produced, the soundwaves travel to the ear and strike at this thin membrane, causing it to vibrate. Thereafter, the vibration is transmitted to the hearing bones and transformed into nerve impulses, which are sent to the brain. This membrane is also useful in preventing bacteria and other foreign objects from going to the middle ear.

Since this membrane is very thin, the eardrum can be easily ruptured. When a hole is caused in the eardrum, this usually results in loss of hearing. In addition, this will also pave the way for bacteria to enter into the inner sections of the ear, making it vulnerable to infection.

One of the chief causes of eardrum perforation is when we push foreign objects deep inside the ear. This commonly involves cotton swabs that are used to clean the ears.

The air pressure during an ascent or descent of an airplane can also cause damage and perforation of the eardrum. Likewise, loud noises can cause rupture the eardrum.

A ruptured or perforated eardrum is characterized by sharp pains or sudden discomfort in the ear. It also involves loss of hearing and can be accompanied by tinnitus — a condition in which a person hears a ringing or clicking sound in the ears. In some instances, there may be blood or pus in the affected ear.

A ruptured eardrum usually heals after a few weeks. However, it is advisable to seek medical treatment as soon as possible to avert infection or complications.




I´m 61 years old and lost my hearing gradually over many years. Because my hearing loss developed so slowly, I never realized it was happening. But my friends and family sure did. Because of them, I decided to get my hearing tested. Dr. Andrews keeps working with you until you are satisfied. That´s what I like. I haven´t heard this well in years. ~ R. McGreggor