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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.

  • Increased vulnerability to ear infections
  • Severe ear pain
  • Temporary or permanent hair loss
  • Excessive drainage from the ear
  • Skin cysts or cholesteatoma


  • Chronic ear infection
  • Eardrum injury sustained in an accident
  • Excessive exposure to loud noises
  • Air pressure fluctuation


  • Partial or complete loss of hearing 
  • Yellowish ear discharge 
  • Middle ear infection
  • Persistent pain in the ear
  • Feeling feverish
  • Tinnitus or ringing sound in the ear
  • Vertigo

To diagnose eardrum perforation, the doctors will first conduct a physical examination using an otoscope or auriscope. Other diagnostic modalities include:

  • Auditory testing, which is done to assess the severity and type of hearing loss using different sounds.
  • CT scan – Computed tomography scan helps to generate images of the affected ear and the associated structures for determining any structural abnormality
  • MRI – Magnetic resonance imaging helps to generate high-resolution images of the ear using magnetic waves.




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.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's) More information


How should I prepare for the surgery?

To prepare for surgery, take good care of your health and try to learn as much as you can about the procedure. Planning ahead can help ensure you have a successful procedure and heal faster with a smooth recovery. 

Do I need to take any medicine before my surgery?

Depending upon the procedure and the patient's health, our surgeons may recommend some patients to medications. However, these medications are prescribed after a thorough evaluation of their medical history and overall health. Therefore, you need to inform the doctor about your allergies and previous medical conditions in advance

How long will it take to recover?

Recovery time after the surgery may vary from one patient to another. Usually, it depends on several factors, such as the patient's age, the type of surgery and the adversity of the problem that is being addressed during the surgery. Therefore, it is important to talk to your doctor about the same prior to your surgery.

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