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Massachusetts Eye and Ear
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Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery

Eardrum Perforation

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An eardrum perforation, or a ruptured eardrum, is a hole in the tissue that separates the ear canal from the middle ear. It can be caused by a severe ear infection or injury to the ear.

6Common Symptoms

  • Ear Pain
  • Clear or bloody drainage from the ear
  • Hearing loss
  • Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
  • Dizziness
  • Vertigo

Diagnosis and Treatment

A visual inspection in most cases will confirm the perforation. Small perforations often heal on their own, however, larger and/or persistent perforations often need surgical repair. In general, for younger children who have persistent perforations, observation will be recommended first.

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