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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diseases and Conditions > Ruptured Eardrum: Treatment & Monitoring
      Category : Health Centers > Ears and Hearing Disorders

Ruptured Eardrum

Ruptured Eardrum | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

What are the treatments for the condition?

When a hole in the eardrum is diagnosed, it is important to take the following steps.

  • Avoid blowing the nose.
  • Avoid changes in elevation.
  • Keep contaminated or soapy water out of the ear canal.
  • Most ruptures caused by trauma, ear infections, and ear tubes will heal on their own. But some ruptures may require surgery. Patches of paper or fat are used to repair small holes. For larger holes, tissue is usually taken from the chewing muscle located in the temple. This tissue is then placed under the eardrum or on its surface. It acts as a scaffold for the drum to heal over.

    What are the side effects of the treatments?

    Surgery may cause bleeding, infection, or allergic reactions to anesthesia. Ear surgery may also cause hearing impairment.

    What happens after treatment for the condition?

    If treatment is successful, the protective barrier effect of the eardrum is restored. The person's hearing returns to a completely normal state.

    How is the condition monitored?

    Hearing should improve as the hole closes. If this does not happen, there may be another rupture. Anyone with a known rupture who gets water in the middle ear should use antibiotic eardrops to prevent an ear infection.

    A person who has continued or recurrent episodes of ear drainage may have a chronic ear infection. The healthcare provider should be consulted. Any other new or worsening symptoms should also be reported to the provider.

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    Ruptured Eardrum: Prevention & Expectations


    Author: Mark Loury, MD
    Reviewer: Eileen McLaughlin, RN, BSN
    Date Reviewed: 08/09/01

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