Sometimes, hearing loss might be the result of damage happening to your eardrum. This can be painful, and it’s best to deal with a ruptured eardrum as quickly as possible.
Possible Causes of a Ruptured Eardrum
• Direct Mechanical Damage You can puncture your eardrum with a cotton swab or other object. Thus, it’s recommended to be extremely careful cleaning.
• Pressure Damage This is also known as barotrauma. A sudden change in pressure can cause serious damage to your eardrums. For example, travelling by plane or scuba diving may expose your ears to barotrauma. A direct blow to the ear can cause pressure damage as well.
• Acoustic Trauma Loud noises, such as those caused by an explosion, can easily rupture your eardrum.
• Head Trauma A hit to the skull may injure your middle ear as well.
• An Untreated a Severe Infection In most cases, an infection merely clogs up your middle ear. However, the accumulated fluid can exert enough pressure to damage your eardrum.
What are the best ways to deal with a ruptured eardrum?
1. Wait It Out
If the rupture is small, it will heal with time. Your doctor may prescribe antibiotics in order to avoid further complications.
While your eardrum is healing up, you should keep your ears dry. Swimming pools are a particularly bad idea, since they increase your risk of infection. It’s also important to avoid exposing your ears to cold air.
Additionally, you will need to avoid any pressure changes. This means rescheduling your flights, if possible. Doctors even warn against blowing your nose too hard.
2. Eardrum Patch
Your doctor may decide that using a patch is your best option. In this case, they will use a chemical to prepare your eardrum and then place a patch of paper-like tissue there, to seal the rupture This is a simple procedure, and it doesn’t require anesthesia.
Since there are some potential complications when doing eardrum surgery, there’s preference to try the other two options first. But waiting too long may lead to dangerous infections or permanent hearing loss. Sometimes, surgery can be the best to deal with a ruptured eardrum.
It requires general anesthesia. Your surgeon will seal up the damage using tissue taken from your body – for example, from a vein or a muscle.