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Perforated eardrum problems, often called eardrum perforation (tympanic membrane perforation) are common. What is meant by perforation is a tear in the tympanic membrane. Although treatable perforation is a nagging and excruciating pain. The tympanic membrane is normally closed (not torn). What are the signs of tympanic membrane retraction? What is the treatment? What are the risks of tympanic membrane rupture? Please follow the following article, discussing tympanic membrane perforation.

The tympanic membrane is another name for the eardrum. An eardrum perforation is caused by an ear infection or trauma. In most cases, the tympanic membrane repairs itself. If it does not re-form, a tympanic transplant may be performed.

Causes of Tympanic Membrane Perforation

Many causes are factors for tympanic membrane perforation. An intact tympanic membrane, a very delicate membrane that collects sound, is very often caused by trauma from needles, matches, or cotton swabs. And cases of the last intact tympanic membrane are relatively frequent. Other causes of tympanic membrane rupture include ear infections . There is an effusion of pus behind the tympanic membrane, which presses on it, eventually penetrates, the pus then flows through this opening. Less commonly, the tympani is the one that can perforate during a loud bang, due to the shock wave. Another cause of damage to the tympanic membrane is scuba diving. If the pressure is not balanced properly, the tympanic membrane is stretched to the extreme, then bursts. Finally, the pressure difference in the plane can very rarely cause rupture of the tympanic membrane as it descends.

Symptoms of Tympanic Membrane Perforation

What are the symptoms of a tympanic membrane rupture? A perforated eardrum is sudden, acute, very painful. In addition, perforation is sudden and unobservable in some cases of chronic otitis where the eardrum invaginates to depth very slowly (months), until finally perforating the tympanic membrane. Another sign of tympanic membrane retraction: discharge from the ear when bathing or swimming. “Sealing” the perforated tympanic membrane is no longer allowed, water penetrates and floods the inside of the ear, causing a consequent risk of ear infection. Signs of permanent tympanic membrane retraction are relatively inconspicuous. In normal circumstances the tympanic membrane does not sound disturbing. However, when the tympanic membrane is intact, hearing loss is less important if the tympanic membrane perforation is small. On the other hand, if the normal tympanic membrane is damaged by more than two-thirds, the hearing loss can be as high as 20 or 30 decibels.

Tympanic membrane perforation

Tympanic membrane perforation diagnosis

In the case of tympanic membrane retraction, the ENT doctor will impose several things. He will check on the patient’s recent activities (such as ear cleaning, work and place of residence, have you ever been diving or climbing mountains, etc.). Also the patient’s medical history that can be classified as the cause of the intact tympanic membrane.

After that, tests will be carried out. Audiometry to check ear sensitivity, otoscopy to check the internal canal, and tympanometry to check the tympanic response to pressure changes. Finally, laboratory tests if there is fluid from the ear (check for ear infections ). After that, the diagnosis will come out, and treatment is given according to the type of tympanic membrane perforation that has been examined.

Tympanic Membrane Perforation Treatment

After trauma, in most cases, the tympanic membrane repairs itself. Within 2 to 3 months, the eardrum grows back about the same. Sometimes the membrane is thinner and therefore more brittle. Sometimes in some types of perforation of the tympanic membrane is so important that the eardrum does not close by itself. This occurs, for example, with recurrent ear infections. However, some perforations are dangerous, in that they do not touch the center of the tympanic membrane as is often the case—but only the periphery. Scarring usually does not occur with this type of perforation, so this can lead to a buildup of dead skin that is ultimately damaging. This cholesteatoma will destroy the ossiclesand can even go further. It is very important to operate. Also, there is a procedure to repair the tympanic membrane if it doesn’t heal on its own. To perform an eardrum graft tympanoplasty, individual proprietary materials are used: a thin piece of cartilage is taken from the ear pinna or a piece of the aponeurosis , the membrane that covers the muscle. If the ossicles are also damaged, tympano-ossicular reconstruction can be performed to repair the perforated tympanic membrane.

How to Protect Normal Tympanic Membrane

  • Be careful with children: they can put objects in their ears.
  • Try to reduce episodes of ear infections in children with the latest antimicrobial vaccines.
  • Don’t use cotton. Just clean the entrance of the ear with a tissue and pinky.
  • Balance the pressure on the plane and underwater diving. The way to protect the tympanic membrane in this situation is: pinch your nose and send air to the ear.


  1. NCBI : Tympanic Membrane Perforations :
  2. Mayo Clinic : Ruptured Eardrum (perforated eardrum):
  3. Healthline : Eardrum Rupture: Causes, Symptoms, & Treatments :
  4. Msd Manual : Traumatic Perforation of the Tympanic Membrane :,-nose,-and-throat-disorders/middle-ear-and-tympanic-membrane-disorders/traumatic-perforation- of-the-tympanic-membrane
  5. Cleveland Clinic : Ruptured Eardrum :

Mahendra Pratama

Mahendra Pratama, seorang ahli gizi berusia 52 tahun dan bekerja di Handal Dok sebagai penulis/editor. Ia lulus dari Universitas Wijaya Kusuma sekitar 25 tahun yang lalu. Dia adalah mahasiswa yang berprestasi. Mahendra sering menulis artikel tentang nutrisi atau cara menjaga kesehatan. Dia memiliki hobi - yoga.

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