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Surgery

A perforated eardrum is a hole in your eardrum.

Symptoms of a perforated eardrum include sudden hearing loss, earache and fluid leaking from your ear.

A perforated eardrum often heals on its own. You may need antibiotics if you get an ear infection or surgery if the hole does not heal.

Common causes of a perforated eardrum include an ear infection, a blow to the ear, cleaning your ear with a cotton bud and changes in air pressure.

Read more on the NHS website.

Symptoms of a perforated eardrum include sudden hearing loss, earache and fluid leaking from your ear.

Symptoms of a perforated eardrum

Signs of a perforated eardrum or ear infection include:

The symptoms will usually pass once your eardrum has healed and any infection has been treated.

Read more on the NHS website.

A perforated eardrum often heals on its own. You may need antibiotics if you get an ear infection or surgery if the hole does not heal.

Self-care

Perforated eardrums do not always need to be treated because they often get better by themselves within a few weeks.

While it heals, the following tips can help you relieve your symptoms and reduce the chances of your ear becoming infected:

  • do not put anything in your ear, such as cotton buds or eardrops (unless your doctor recommends them)
  • do not get water in your ear – do not go swimming and be extra careful when showering or washing your hair
  • try not to blow your nose too hard, as this can damage your eardrum as it heals
  • hold a warm flannel against your ear to help reduce any pain
  • take painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen to relieve pain if you need to (do not give aspirin to children under 16)

Medical treatments

If you have an ear infection caused by a perforated eardrum, a GP may prescribe antibiotics.

If the hole in your eardrum is big or does not heal in a few weeks, a GP may refer you to an ear specialist to talk about having surgery to repair a perforated eardrum.

Read more on the NHS website.

Common causes of a perforated eardrum include an ear infection, a blow to the ear, cleaning your ear with a cotton bud and changes in air pressure.

Read more on the NHS website.