A perforated eardrum can severely affect your hearing depending on the size of the perforation. A small perforation may only cause a slight loss of hearing, whereas a large perforation is likely to cause greater hearing loss.

The hearing loss experienced from a perforated ear drum is only temporary. Hearing will return once your eardrum has healed.

As well as hearing loss, a perforated eardrum may cause the following symptoms:

  • Earache or discomfort
  • A discharge of mucus from your ear
  • Ringing or buzzing in your ear (tinnitus)

Causes of Perforated Ear Drum

  • An infection of the middle ear is one of the most common causes of a perforated eardrum this can build up pus inside your ear and put pressure on your eardrum. Sometimes, the amount of pus in your ear can build up so much that the eardrum bursts, allowing the pus to escape.
  • A perforation can be caused by an injury to the eardrum. A severe blow to the ear or poking an object such as a cotton bud deep into the ear may perforate your eardrum.
  • A perforated eardrum can be caused by a sudden loud noise. The shockwaves from a loud explosion can damage the sensitive parts of your ear, including the eardrum.
  • Sudden changes in air pressure, such as when changing altitude in an aircraft, often cause pain in the ear. Occasionally, sudden pressure changes can cause your eardrum to become perforated.

Surgical Treatment of Perforated Ear Drum

You may need surgery if your perforated eardrum is severe or doesn't heal. The procedure used to repair a perforated eardrum is known as a myringoplasty.
A myringoplasty may be recommended to:

  • Prevent water from entering your middle ear, which could cause an infection
  • Reduce your likelihood of getting ear infections
  • Improve your hearing