Eardrum, perforated

Rupture or erosion of the eardrum. Perforation of the eardrum can cause brief, intense pain. There may be slight bleeding, a discharge from the ear (see ear, discharge from), and some reduction in hearing. Most commonly, perforation occurs as a result of the build-up of pus in the middle ear due to acute otitis media. Perforation may also be associated with cholesteatoma. Another cause is injury, for example from insertion of an object into the ear, a loud noise, barotrauma, or a fracture to the base of the skull. Diagnosis is confirmed by examination of the ear (see ear, examination of). Hearing tests may also be performed. Analgesic drugs may relieve any pain and antibiotic drugs may be prescribed to treat or prevent infection. Most perforations heal quickly. If the perforation has failed to heal after 6 months, myringoplasty may be needed.


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