Whether it is an ear ache that won’t go away or a sudden, sharp ear pain, it could be a ruptured eardrum. It can lead to severe complications such as hearing loss or infection.

The pressure and pain of an ear infection is like no other. Oftentimes, the fluid buildup from an untreated ear infection can cause enough pressure to tear a small hole or perforate the tissue between your middle ear and ear canal.

A ruptured eardrum can also occur because of:

Barotrauma, typically caused by scuba diving or air travel. Happens when the air pressure in the environment becomes out of balance with the pressure in your middle ear.

When a foreign object is placed too far into the ear, such as a cotton swab.

A very loud sound can cause acoustic drama. The overpowering sound waves from a blaring rock concert, explosion, or even a gunshot, can cause the eardrum to tear.

Severe head trauma, possibly from a vehicle accident, can damage the inner ear.

A ruptured eardrum has several symptoms, including a liquid discharge, sudden ear pain, quick decrease in ear pain, hearing loss, spinning sensation, or ringing in your ears.

Depending on the extent of infection and damage, there are several treatments for a ruptured eardrum. In some cases they may heal on their own, though it is important to have an Ear, Nose & Throat doctor exam and evaluate your ear. If a bacterial infection is present it will need an antibiotic. An eardrum patch may be necessary to stimulate tissue growth or seal the tear. Or a tissue graft may be necessary to restore the eardrum, this is known as, tympanoplasty.

If you suspect your eardrum has ruptured, contact Orlando Ear, Nose & Throat. Your hearing isn’t something you want to jeopardize. In the mean time, protect your ear by avoiding getting any water in it, don’t go swimming and wear earplugs when you take a shower or bathe.