Decreased hearing, ringing sensation or discharge from the ear can be a sign of perforation of the eardrum; damage to this membrane; may result in rupture or perforation. How do I know if my eardrum is perforated? I have a hole in my eardrum, what should I do? What surgeries are performed to repair the eardrum?
Because it happens without giving a feeling of pain to the person, sometimes being ignored can lead to bigger and more important discomforts. Especially the time to enter the sea and the pool, which starts with the summer season, requires that this process be considered much more carefully.
Associate Professor Abdulkadir Özgür, Head of the Department of ENT, Yeni Yüzyıl University Gaziosmanpaşa Hospital; Giving information about the perforation of the eardrum, he stated that those who enter the sea and the pool should be careful, especially in the summer season, and that an examination should be done if there are complaints. He stated that minor complaints that are not taken into account can cause serious diseases such as facial paralysis, meningitis, and brain abscess.
The eardrum forms a barrier between the middle ear structures such as the ossicles that enable us to hear and the external environment. Thus, microbes in the external environment cannot damage the middle ear structures. However, in those with a perforated eardrum, the middle ear becomes unprotected and causes recurrent infections. We call this condition chronic otitis. These infections may lead to relatively negligible complaints such as recurrent malodorous discharge in the ear, progressive hearing loss and dizziness, as well as serious diseases such as facial paralysis, meningitis, brain abscess.
How do I know if my eardrum is perforated?
Whether the eardrum is perforated or not is determined by ear examination. If there are complaints such as hearing loss and discharge in the ear, it should be evaluated by an Ear Nose and Throat Diseases Specialist. If a hole is detected in the eardrum, audiological evaluation to determine the degree of hearing loss and computed tomography to evaluate the damage of the infection to the ear bone are required. Depending on the severity of the disease, sometimes an MRI may be required.
I have a hole in my eardrum, what should I do?
If there is a hole in the eardrum, it is very important that the ear does not come into contact with water. For this reason, in cases where contact with water is frequent, such as taking a bath or swimming, the ear must be clogged. Silicone plugs can be used for this, or a plug can be prepared with an oily cream and cotton. But this protection is only a temporary solution for the recurrence of infections. If there is a hole in the eardrum, it must be repaired with surgery.
What surgeries are performed to repair the eardrum?
When the eardrum is perforated, the surgery to be performed is decided by looking at how far the disease has progressed. If only the eardrum is perforated and the damage to the middle ear is limited, the eardrum repair surgery, which we call tympanoplasty, is performed. This surgery was previously performed by making an incision behind the ear. However, nowadays, it can be done through the ear canal by endoscopic methods. Thus, the patient recovers faster and can return to his daily life more quickly. However, if the disease has progressed and has caused melting of the ear bone, then the surgery we call mastoidectomy may be necessary. With this surgery, the infection in the ear bone is cleaned with special instruments using a special microscope. It is very important to detect and intervene in the early stages of the disease for the patient to recover without the need for serious surgery. Thus, the patient is protected from serious conditions such as facial paralysis, meningitis, brain abscess.
Our advice to patients with a hole in the eardrum is to have their treatment done without delay, especially in these months when contact with water will increase. Because in summer, contact with water increases ear infections and can cause problems that we do not want to encounter.