Ear, Nose and Throat
Kelli Rudman, M.D.
A perforated eardrum is a hole in the ear drum. The ear drum is also called the tympanic membrane and so when we look in your child’s ear we see a small hole in that space.
Commonly kids will get a perforated eardrum as a part of a routine ear infection and when that happens, the kids will have drainage that drains out of their ears. A lot of times we can see a perforated eardrum after a tube falls out of the ear. In general when a tube falls out of the ear, the ear drum should heal on its own, but occasionally rarely it will leave a small hole and that can be a perforation. We also see perforations from accidents or trauma or chronic infections.
Depending on the size and location of the hole in the ear, people can have problems with hearing loss, sensation of fullness in the ear or recurrent infections.
Perforated eardrums are generally treated surgically. There are many surgical options to treat a perforated eardrum. Some are simple and some are a little more complex. It really all depends on the size and location of the hole and that is diagnosed by your ENT.
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