The rupture of an eardrum can happen quite easily. The damage is reversible as this structure tends to heal on its own without any additional complications. Still in some cases the condition is treated either by surgery or with the assistance of certain medications.
Eardrum or better to say the tympanic eardrum is a fragile membrane placed inside an ear separating inner ear from the external ear canal. There are numerous causes of its rupture. Children are susceptible to this sort of injury more than general population as they tend to put variety of things into their ears. In older people head trauma is the major cause of tympanic rupture. Sometimes even a severe slap can lead to perforation of an eardrum. Additional causes include loud music or noise and ear infections (mainly infection of the middle ear).
In case the rupture occurs one should go to the doctor and avoid any further picking the ear. The diagnosis is easily set after the examination. The doctor uses simple medical gadget called otoscope which is used in ear examination. Just by using this device he/ she can detects perforation without any additional tests.
Since the condition may be and usually is followed with pain the patient is given painkillers. In absence of accompanying infection the eardrum will entirely heal within weeks up to months following the injury. One is advised not to blow his/ her nose until the healing process is complete. The affected ear must be kept dry. This prevents from additional infections. This restriction means that one should not swim and that while washing hair he/ she must be careful that water does not reach the affected ear. Cotton balls may be used in this purpose.
Warmth may be helpful in pain management. In case of infection patients are supposed to use antibiotics prescribed by doctors.
In case that tympanic membrane does not heal on its own doctor may use an ear patch. This means that the doctor will apply some sort of chemical onto the edges of the wound. This will be effective in stimulation of membrane growth. After that he/ she will place a paper patch onto the perforation. This medical procedure need to be done more than once to accomplish healing to full extent.
In rather rare cases surgical treatment is required. These cases include impossibility of ruptured membrane to heal on its own as well as prolonged healing period complicated by infection. Microsurgical procedures such as tympanoplasty are conducted and the patients are not kept in hospital. They are discharged the very day of the procedure.