Is a perforated eardrum dangerous? Can it be treated?

You might be curious about the danger of eardrum perforations after hearing the term. Is it treatable? Learn more by reading this article.

Is a perforated eardrum dangerous?  Can it be treated?

A hole or tear develops in the soft tissue separating the ear canal from the middle ear, which is known as a perforated eardrum. But is an eardrum perforation harmful? Exists a treatment for it? Continue reading this article to find out:

Is a perforated eardrum dangerous?

Is a perforated eardrum dangerous, you may be asking. In fact, the perforation of the eardrum may not be that dangerous, as it is possible for the perforation of the eardrum to heal itself after a few months, but the perforation of the eardrum may result in a set of serious complications, including the following:

1. Loss of hearing

As the first step in translating sound waves into the ear, the eardrum plays a crucial role in the hearing process. An eardrum perforation may result in hearing loss in the following ways:

  • Hearing loss is temporary until the eardrum hole heals.
  • Hearing loss rarely lasts for a long period of time.
  • The size and location of the eardrum hole affect the degree and severity of hearing loss.

2. Ear infection

Water and bacteria cannot enter the middle ear because of the protective function of the eardrum. Infection with ear piercings may lead to the entry of bacteria, and this results in the following:

  • Middle ear infection .
  • Exposure to frequent or chronic otitis media.
  • Hearing loss and chronic secretions from the ear.

3. A cyst in the middle ear

Skin remnants develop in the ear canal and are typically pushed by earwax towards the outer ear. However, if there is a perforation in the eardrum, these remnants may enter the middle ear and collect over time, forming a cyst, causing the following:

  • A middle ear cyst provides an ideal environment for the development of bacteria and infection.
  • The middle ear bones are harmed by the cyst that contains some protein types.

4. The occurrence of long-term complications

In exceptional circumstances, a person may experience long-lasting complications like:

  • dizziness;
  • Vertigo due to imbalance.

Can a perforated eardrum be treated?

After we've addressed your inquiry, "Is an eardrum perforation dangerous?" We will now discuss a few of the approaches taken to treat perforated eardrums. In some cases, the doctor may monitor the condition until it heals itself, and in other cases, treatment is required as follows:

  1. Use antibiotics if there is an ear infection.
  2. An operation to treat the perforation of the eardrum, in the event that it does not heal within two months. In this surgery, a special small patch is placed to repair the perforation of the eardrum.
  3. A tympanoplasty is performed if the perforation does not heal properly or the healing process takes a long time. In this surgery, the tympanic membrane is reconstructed.

Methods of prevention of perforation of the eardrum and its complications

Following some instructions and using some preventative measures is crucial for the ear to heal in order to avoid some complications, as you may have noticed from our response to the question "Is eardrum perforation dangerous?" We mention some of them below.

  • See the specialist doctor

Finding the source of the infection is important when the eardrum is perforated because some of them may need to be treated. It's also important to follow the doctor's treatment recommendations and avoid using any other treatments inside the ear.

  • Keep the ear dry and protect it

You must keep the perforation in your eardrum dry and safeguard it by doing the following:

  1. Avoid blowing your nose forcefully.
  2. Avoid swimming and diving.
  3. Protect the ear from cold air.
  4. Use a shower cap or earplugs when showering.
  • Follow the precautionary instructions 

There are some preventative measures you can take to guard against eardrum perforation, such as the following:

  1. Treat ear infections and do not neglect them.
  2. Wear earplugs to protect from loud sounds.
  3. Do not remove earwax or foreign objects from your ear yourself, and see a specialist to do so.

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