What is a perforated eardrum?
Our ears have 3 sections, the outer ear, the middle ear and the inner ear, each having some set of unique functions. Present at the end of the ear canal, the eardrum is a small membrane that is responsible for collecting the sounds that enter the ear. These soundwaves are then transmitted to the ossicles. The eardrum also acts as a protective shield that prevents unwanted debris and germs from entering the middle ear. These can, however, get damaged due to prolonged exposure to very loud sounds or injuries/trauma sustained in an accident. A perforated eardrum is marked by a hole in the otherwise intact eardrum. The size of the perforation varies from person to person and in extreme cases, it can even lead to deafness. Though smaller perforations might not trigger any serious complication, they can make your ear more vulnerable to infections. Doctors may initially recommend simple medication and home remedies, however, if these fail to work, you might need to undergo tympanoplasty.
To diagnose eardrum perforation, the doctors will first conduct a physical examination using an otoscope or auriscope. Other diagnostic modalities include:
The doctors may initially recommend non-invasive treatments for managing the symptoms and preventing any further damage, however, if these fail to give the desired results, you might need tympanoplasty. It is a minimally invasive reconstructive procedure that is carried out under the influence of anaesthesia. The surgery is predominantly recommended when the perforation is very large or if there is a chronic infection that is not responding well to medicines.