How is a ruptured eardrum treated?

Ear drops or oral medication (antibiotics) may be prescribed. In most cases, healing of the eardrum occurs within two months. Usually, hearing loss (if any) lasts a short time. Some rare complications of a ruptured eardrum include:

  • Long-term hearing loss
  • Long-term vertigo
  • Long-term dizziness
  • Infection that can spread in the ear

It is important to keep the ear dry from water and to avoid swimming. The ear must be covered during a bath or shower. When blowing your nose, do not be too forceful because the pressure can create pain and discomfort in your ears. The ears should also be protected from any contact with cold air.

If an eardrum does not heal after two months of observation, an ear, nose, and throat specialist may perform a simple repair called a myringoplasty to help aid the healing process. This procedure is used to repair small tears in an eardrum and consists of a small patch placed in or on the hole. If the tear does not heal properly or is taking too long to heal, a surgery known as a tympanoplasty may be required. Tympanoplasty is a more formal procedure that repairs a damaged ear drum.

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