Perforation of the eardrum is, in other words, a rupture of the film separating the middle and outer ear. It is well known that the middle ear is between the outer (the one that we see) and the inner ear. As part of this body, there are three small bones, which are called a hammer, anvil and stapes. It is these small bones that provide auditory function in the body. As a result of colds and infections, inflammatory processes occur, which causes the formation of fluid, and often pus. Perforation of the eardrum occurs when this pus "finds a way" out. This is accompanied by discharge from the ear, as well as a decrease (and in some cases loss) of hearing.
Also, the eardrum can perforate (tear) due to injuries. The cause of this injury in many cases is the ingress of sharp objects into the ear (for example, when playing in children or when cleaning the ears with unsuitable means in adults) or sudden changes in pressure (explosions, blows to the head, diving). Perforation of the eardrum in children can be a consequence of a complication of infectious diseases.
This disease is very dangerous, because it can lead to hearing impairment (in some cases irreversible). With a diagnosis of eardrum perforation, the symptoms will be as follows:
- sharp, unexpected pain, accompanied by bleeding;
- ringing or buzzing in the ears;
- hearing loss
- discharge from the ear (most often purulent in nature).
If you find yourself with some or all of these symptoms, it is recommended to go to the doctor, and as soon as possible. A specialist using otoscopy (a special examination) will give you a specific diagnosis. If the doctor has confirmed that you really have perforation of the eardrum, the treatment will take place according to a certain pattern. If the injured ear "leaks", then the discharge is collected, and the doctor checks to see if they contain pus or (less often) cerebrospinal fluid. If the doctor is not able to determine this on their own, the discharge is sent to the laboratory to study their composition.
A sterile dressing is applied to the ear, of course external. If the membrane is seriously damaged, its treatment may include immediate surgery. The purpose of this operation is to connect the film to eliminate its significant damage. Such an operation is called tympanoplasty, or myringoplasty. It takes place under general anesthesia. The surgeon makes a small incision over the ear, from which he takes a small piece of skin, with the help of which he then sutures the lesions in the ear membrane. Such an operation is performed using a microscope, after it you will have to go around for several weeks with a cotton swab in your ear. The doctor inserts this swab immediately after the operation.
If the gap is small, you can do without surgical intervention, then the membrane will heal in a period of time from 8 to 10 days. At this time, should be monitored by ENT. But in some cases, even minor damage does not heal naturally, and their treatment requires surgery. Of medications, painkillers and sedatives are usually prescribed. In some cases, oral antibiotics are used.
In order to speed up the treatment process and reduce the likelihood of complications, you should remember that until the membranes heal completely, you should not blow your nose by squeezing your nostrils, and you should also make sure that no liquid gets into your ears (when bathing, cover them with cotton moistened with oil or cream). To avoid the occurrence of this disease, use the following preventive and preventive measures:
- emergency treatment of any ear infections, since delayed treatment of middle ear diseases often leads to fluid accumulation, which causes the aforementioned disease;
- when flying on airplanes, it is recommended to chew gum or eat (suck) candy to protect the eardrum. This provides protection against sudden changes in pressure. With a cold, accompanied by a runny nose, it is better to refuse from flights, or in extreme cases, before take-off, use vasoconstrictor drops for the nose;
- do not use sharp objects (hooks, hairpins, needles) to clean the ears;
- Avoid excessively long stays in noisy places.