Burst EarDrum, Causes and How to Overcome It

If the ear feels uncomfortable, painful, ringing, and discharging, it could be because your eardrum has ruptured. Infection and injury are some of the causes. However, don’t worry, there are some medical measures to overcome it.

The eardrum is a thin membrane that separates the outer ear from the middle ear. The eardrum, also known as the tympanic membrane, vibrates when exposed to sound waves. The vibration is then sent to the middle and inner ear to then continue to the brain.

The eardrum also serves to protect the middle ear from bacteria, liquid, or foreign objects that want to enter.

Things That Can Cause Ear Drums to Burst

Because it is thin, this very important part of the ear is susceptible to damage, such as tearing or breaking. The cause can be due to several of the following:

1. Infection

A common cause of ruptured eardrums, especially in children, is due to an ear infection. A middle ear infection causes fluid to build up behind the eardrum. As a result, the pressure inside the middle ear will increase and push the eardrum outwards so it can cause a tear.

2. Injury

A ruptured ear drum can also happen if the side of the head is hit hard until the skull bone cracks, if the ear is not carefully cleaned with cotton buds, or because a small object enters the ear.

3. Pressure changes

When the air pressure in the middle ear and the environment are not balanced, it will make the ear drum depressed. This is called barotrauma. Barotrauma can cause the ear drum to burst if the pressure produced is very large.

Barotrauma can occur when a person dives, navigates at high altitudes or gets on an airplane.

4. Acoustic trauma

Hearing very loud sounds, such as explosions or gunshots, can also harm the eardrum and cause the eardrum to burst. However, this rarely happens.

Treatment of Ruptured Ear Drums

A ruptured eardrum can heal on its own without treatment, within a few weeks. However, if there is no improvement, the doctor will provide treatment in the form of:


Antibiotics in the form of pills or ear drop work to clear the infection and protect the ear from new infections due to rupture of the eardrum. Antibiotics are given if the ear drum is ruptured due to infection.

Eardrum patching

If it doesn’t close on its own, an ENT specialist can patch the eardrum. The trick is to apply a chemical to the edge of the tear to stimulate the growth of new membranes and cover the eardrum tear with a patch.

This procedure may need to be repeated more than once until the hole is completely closed.

Eardrum transplant surgery

If the patch does not work, the last resort is to perform a tympanoplasty operation. In this operation, the ENT specialist will graft a little skin from the patient’s body to close the hole in the eardrum.

After the surgical procedure is completed, the patient can go home the same day, unless there are other reasons that make the patient have to undergo hospitalization.

When suffering from a ruptured ear drum, there are several things that need to be observed in order to support the healing process, namely:

1. Keep the ears dry. When showering, use silicone or cotton earplugs coated with petroleum jelly to prevent water from entering the ears.
2. Do not swim for some time until the eardrum recovers or until allowed by the doctor.
3. Avoid picking your ears because there is a risk of injuring the eardrum.
4. Avoid exhaling by covering your mouth and nose. Increased pressure in the ear can cause re-injury of the eardrum.

If your ear hurts due to a ruptured eardrum or if there are other complaints, such as hearing loss, when experiencing a ruptured eardrum, do not hesitate to consult a doctor so that you can be given the right treatment. Repair a perforated ear drum using ClearDrum With Ear Science Institute Australia

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