Main Article on Perforated Eardrum (Ruputured Eardrum) Question: What was the cause of your perforated or ruptured eardrum? Submit Your Comment Comment from: Robin, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: August 20 I had surgery on my right jaw, and rather than a joint replacement they put a temporary insert in the joint to promote adhesion and scar tissue. In 3 months they removed it. It re-bruised, swelled, I had a number of abnormal symptoms, and during that time, my doctor said I was overreacting. Eleven weeks after surgery, I had an ENT consult in surgery, the implant had broken the stitches, rubbed through a bone, then into the inner ear. The ENT said my ear drum is ruptured and gone. I have pain and pus. ENT said he will see me in 6 weeks! Comment from: Judy, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: July 31 For years I had a teensy tube in my ear to drain liquid which my body made. It always hurt when the ENT doctor placed a new tube. One day I noticed I couldn't hear well so went to the ENT doctor and I had blood in my ear. It took 2 weeks of drops before he could look in my ear. My eardrum had a hole in it and the tube was gone; apparently came out was causing the blood. I am 90% deaf in that ear now. I think my doctor did ruptured my eardrum one time when he was checking the tube. Comment from: jlcamp11, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: March 07 Around 2002 I had a Q-tip go through my ear drum, or rather between it and the ear canal. It bled for about a week then stopped and eventually didn't hurt anymore, but I did notice I had issues when swimming. It felt like someone was jabbing a poker into my ear and down my throat. I lived with it just putting wax in my ear when I swam. I rode on an airplane around 2013 and it took 3 or 4 days after landing for the pain to go away, then the same when I got back home after the plane ride back. Majorly excruciating. Then a few weeks ago I accidentally got water in my ear from the shower. I was trying to get the water out, very gently and I felt something strange then my ear started bleeding again. I went to the doctor and she gave me these ear drops. I put them in for 4 days then a scab came out and when I put the ear drops in after that it ran down my throat up through my nostril and felt like it was behind my eye. It tasted nasty and I gagged a lot. When I went back she said it wasn't supposed to do that and that I must have a perforation that she can't see because my ear canal is so small. I have a doctor's appointment with an ear, nose and throat specialist tomorrow. Pretty sure this means repair surgery from what I've seen so far of it. Comment from: Misery, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: January 05 I came down with an earache in December. It was rather sudden. I thought my speaker went on my laptop, and I couldn't hear it. I got an earache in the left ear for a day, then sudden crackling and clear fluid tinged with blood came out; then pus. I went to urgent care the next day and they put me on azithromycin orally. Then the right eardrum perforated. After 4 days on the oral medication, I went to primary care. They did not think it was bacterial infection; rather viral, but put me on steroid/antibiotic drops twice daily. I have almost finished with drops, but cannot hear. It is difficult to drive, and my balance is impaired due to other sensory losses previous to this. I have ENT appointment on January 26. This is awful. I did have earache as a child and a perforation in my 20s but never bilateral! Comment from: Doc in the Box, 7-12 Male (Caregiver) Published: October 29 Soccer ball versus external ear, caused perforation of the right eardrum, 1/2 of the lower anterior quadrant. There was no infection when seen, and normal audiogram. Comment from: COLDBEAR, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: March 01 I awakened one morning with a terrible head cold. When I went to blow my nose, I felt a sharp pain in my left ear. I lost 50 percent hearing in it and a constant ringing persists today. I'm still waiting for the self-healing cycle to make me recover but I'm very skeptical at this time. This continued ringing in my left ear is driving me crazy. I am worried I might have ruptured my eardrum. Comment from: dumbass, 45-54 Female (Caregiver) Published: October 31 In the year 1986 my left and right ears were boxed. Back in the day, it was called 'cauliflowered'. Now I'm having issues with the eardrum. I got checked out by my doctor, and he cleared the canal. The inner ear pain is back, though wax free. I had major accidental total hip replacement surgery recently, and wonder if that can have something to do with that pain. Comment from: Margaret, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: October 20 I was assaulted by my boyfriend on 29 September 2015 and the ear specialist told me it was perforated. I am meeting her in 20 days for my checkup. Comment from: Shaun A, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: May 15 I was drinking a glass of water quickly. My jaw cracked loudly, and ringing began. It didn't stop for a week, so I went to an ENT doctor. She suggested I get a shot in my eardrum to try and solve the ringing. It made the tiny hole from the shot deteriorate the skin, in an almost necrotic fashion. So to recap, I went to ENT to solve a problem, left with 2 problems. Nice. Four years later I am contemplating a mesh procedure as my next step. I was so angry it took me 4 years to even fathom going back. That is the story of my perforated eardrum! SLIDESHOW Ear Infection Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment See Slideshow Comment from: frances, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: March 10 I have been deaf since I was 12 years old. My first operation didn't work, I am still deaf 35 years later. My nurse at my local doctor's, perforated my ear and I have been left in agony for 4 months. I have got a hearing aid on my bad ear but since the nurse perforated my good ear I am struggling to hear anyone. My good ear once is bad I can't hear anything, no sound whatsoever. I am seeing an ENT specialist next month hear hoping he can help me with my ear. Comment from: skipray, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: August 18 A marble size piece of molten metal went in my ear and burned all the way through to my throat a few years ago. I didn't get medical treatment for it until two days ago. I had tympanoplasty done on it. The surgery was two hours long. I am surprised that I'm not in that much pain from it. I didn't need any pain meds today. I did freak out when I woke up after the surgery, though. I was very angry, I'm told. I found out last night that some people do get violent when they wake up after surgery (apparently I'm one of those guys). They didn't warn me that this could happen. Comment from: Life Long Patient, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: May 24 The cause of my perforated eardrum has been ongoing since the age of 8. As a child I never realized that the pain and throbbing of an infected ear wasn't normal. My parents took me to an ear specialist when I was 12 and the treatments he used were incorrect as we found out years later. Because of continuous infections and mistreatment of the problem the ear drum was completely destroyed, hence hearing loss began. It wasn't until I was 21 that I realized how bad the hearing loss actually was, when at work one day my boss came in and I didn't realize he was speaking to me until I looked up and saw his lips moving. He was standing on the side of my bad ear. I sought out a well known ear specialist who surgically took part of my ear lobe to create a drum. Remember I could hear the nurse's footsteps out in the hallway when I woke up - what a feeling! However, the very first cold I came down with burst the ear drum and created a severe infection. Had tubes in off and on after that to drain fluid build up. The drum never healed and left a small perforation which was repaired. Again, the first cold I got brought unbearable pressure and excruciating pain as the drum broke again. This time it healed with a microscopic hole which I've had for 30 years. Constantly wear cotton to keep air and wind out of it and Vaseline over the cotton when showering. Do not swim. Airplanes are the #1 killer with pain lasting 3-4 days after landing - do not fly. In the last 2 years, however, deafness in that ear is getting worse and hearing aids, if they're an option, are quite costly. Comment from: War_Eagle, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: December 09 I was wrestling with my son and he (playfully and unintentionally) slapped my ear. It doesn't hurt, but everything sounds very "tinny", like I'm listening through a pair of old, blown out speakers. I'm going to give it a week or two and if it's not better, go to the doctor. Comment from: smd, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: September 05 It's seriously embarrassing. I accidentally jabbed myself with a Q-tip. That's it -- nothing dramatic or fabulous, just plain stupid. When I blow my nose, I can hear/feel air whooshing through my ear! Talk about having a hole in my head. Sheesh. Comment from: momof2gifted, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: July 22 A week ago I dreamed that a bug crawled across my face and into my right ear until I woke with the worst pain I have ever had. It started digging in my ear and it was a load thumping sound with the pain shooting from the top of my head all the way through my shoulders. It would stop for about 4 seconds at a time. My daughter tried to look but when I moved my hand all she could see was blood and a black bulb type bug. This lasted for about 20 minutes of just pure terror until I made it into my kitchen. I just grabbed ice and started rubbing it around my ear. It actually slowed down the digging so I put a full freezer gallon Ziploc of ice and mashed it against the side of my head. We live in a small town and it took about 25 minutes to get to the hospital. They took me straight in but could not see it at first due to the blood. When he pulled it out it was extremely painful as well but it had to get out, it had been moving around until we got there but no digging. The bug was a 1 inch long black water beetle with pinchers, OUCH!! The ER doctor said he had never pulled one of those out of an ear and that the beetle had itself a little party in there. I got drops and pain pills, but it had only just begun. As we did the drops on Sunday I just tilted my head sideways. But on Monday night when my husband put them in they ran straight into my throat. My doctor said not to do anymore due to my appointment being on Wednesday. After her and an ear specialist later, who also had never encountered a beetle, said I have one of the largest holes he had ever seen. Problem is I cannot hear at all, which is expected I suppose, but I also cannot smell out of the right side of my nose. Not sure if they are connected, but will be getting a nerve and hearing test done. Comment from: lost, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: April 18 Mine was caused by an infection that wasn't detected soon enough. I keep having problems still. My ENT specialist says that it has healed but every time I go to a GP they tell me that they can see a perforation. QUESTION Ear infection or acute otitis media is an infection of the middle ear. See Answer Comment from: marie, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: November 26 I went to two ENT doctors and both said I had a perforated eardrum. In fact I have two separate perforations! After three rounds of antibiotics and cleaning with what I would call a small vacuum cleaner, pain has increased and there is much pressure more than before. Comment from: Lynda, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: October 09 My ear problem started in 2009 a few months after giving birth to my twins, it all started with an itch that I could not ignore, I had to clean them. A few days later pus started dripping from my ears, went to see an ENT and it helped until recently. The itch came back, I scratched, pus dripped again but this time around with a rotten smell, and my head keeps on buzzing. I'm always tired. Comment from: 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: September 25 The cause of my perforated eardrum is strep throat. Comment from: pain level !5!, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: April 02 Swimmers ear. Although, I am not swimming this time of year but, apparently water is getting in my ears from taking a shower. Comment from: beth, 19-24 Female Published: March 07 My son had a cold an ear infection and conjunctivitis, and about a week later I caught his cold, my cold went and about a day later I woke up and my ear was throbbing. Now I have constant ringing in my ear and it feels like there is something in there which it isn't. My foods don't taste quite the same. Comment from: Fazio, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: January 05 My eardrum was perforated when I was hit in the ear with a tennis ball while playing tennis. Comment from: Feo2y, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: December 13 I was in a pool with my son and he kneed me accidentally in my ear under water. Comment from: Tkdrewit, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: September 21 I perforated my eardrum when I dove off high dive into pool, hitting water with side of head. Ouch. Comment from: Marimeoo, 75 or over Female Published: January 03 I received a blow to my face and have had ringing and roaring in my head for 45 years now. Drs. say there is a hole there, nothing they can repair. I have to have some type of sound at all times, for, if in a silent place, I almost panic. This has been very, very difficult to live with. Comment from: cheetah, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: December 30 I jumped into the pool and fell on my ear. At first it felt like water stuck behind my ear. Then when I was under water my ear popped and I had intense pain! I put in ear drops and it burnt and it was very painful, the fluid seemed to flow through my ear instead of just staying on top of the eardrum. The doctor gave me antibiotics, pain pills and eardrops. It will take about 3 weeks to heal! I'm just worried about hearing loss since it happened 4 days ago and it still feels blocked! Comment from: Shirley w, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: November 19 I had recurring ear infections for two years. A specialist advised ear drops. The discharge and hearing loss got worse and I went to an ear, nose and throat specialist. I was sent for X-rays which showed I had a growth above my ear. The growth was removed and I had I a skin graft done to create a new cover for my eardrum. I was advised that I should have never used ear drops. And, as therapy for osteoporosis, I have been swimming in heated pools for a long time. Come to find out, I was contracting ear infections from the pool. Since then, the infection has returned and my doctor said the eardrums is again perforated, even though I have not been swimming. I have been flying at times, though. Back to the specialist I go… Comment from: Brian, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: September 13 Q-Tip Accident. I walked into a wall while cleaning out my ear and jabbed the Q-Tip in my ear. Comment from: MusicTeacher, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: September 07 A stubborn left middle ear infection, otitis media. Comment from: angelsaboveus, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: August 24 I ruptured and loss some hearing in my right eardrum a little over a year ago, while tubing on a boat, when I fell off and hit the water at high speed. It's been awhile since I would go tubing again. The same thing happened again this weekend, and I went to the doctor today. I pretty much knew what had happened when I hit the water hard on my right ear. I didn't realize you could do this more than once to the same ear. I often have pain in the right ear with colds, sinus infections, water, cold air, etc. The pain is unbearable when I fly on airplanes. Seriously, it's awful. Think I'll be giving up the water toys for good this time... Comment from: Rose, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: August 16 I burst my eardrum over 15 years ago after a steep plane descent into Brisbane on the way to The Great Barrier Reef. The pain both during the flight and after we landed was excruciating. I also lost my hearing and my voice but had no symptoms of a cold prior to the flight. My hearing returned to normal in 2-3 months. I have previously flown within Australia and overseas and experienced only discomfort. Now I have pressure and mild pain travelling up mountains or down steep descents by car. I have not flown since but would dearly love to travel. ENT specialists will give no guarantees that this will not happen again if I fly. I am a female, now aged 55. Comment from: beautifulsideofcrazy, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: June 02 Just using a simple Q-tip caused my perforated eardrum. I am so dizzy, I am currently unable to get out of bed. Comment from: 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: May 20 For my perforated eardrum, I had an infection which build up to too much pressure and caused my eardrum to rupture. Comment from: Mommy to eight, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: May 11 Ever since I was a baby, I have been subject to ear infections. I outgrew them for awhile, then in high school, they came back. I remember one cold that was so bad, my ears didn't have a chance. Both ear drums burst in my sleep. I had discharge on my pillow in the morning. When I was about 45, it happened again. It was one of those pathetic summer colds that got my ears. This past week, we have had colds in my house. For me, it was sinus pressure, but clear nose; headache and backache; and I was very tired. Pretty pathetic. I was feeling better yesterday morning. Then I felt the fluid in my ear in the morning, so I took some Sudafed. I had pressure in the afternoon, by dinner, my ear was hurting really bad, I knew my ear drum was going to burst again. I took some Ibuprofen for the pain and used a hot rice bag on my ear to help it feel better. I also used some Afrin nasal spray to relieve congestion overnight. Last night, I had the best sleep of all the past week. I woke once in the night and my ear felt fine, then I felt the discharge. When I turned over with my infected ear up, the air was cold on it and it hurt, so I covered it and it felt better. In the morning, there was some bloody discharge and I have cotton in my ear to protect it from germs and cool air that causes pain. This ear infection came up so quickly, I couldn't have seen the doctor and started on antibiotics quick enough to prevent the eardrum rupture. This cold my family got is much stronger than it seems. The cold part isn't so bad, but my husband ended up with severe bronchitis, my two little ones have conjunctivitis and possible ear infections; and I had fluid in my ear that developed into an ear infection and my ear drum burst in one day! Comment from: 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: January 19 I'm not sure if my ear is perforated or not, I had a cerumen impaction and used Debrox to correct the impaction. A couple days later I woke up in the morning with an excruciating pain in my ear. The pain subsided but now I have an intermittent ringing in my ear. My hearing has somewhat been affected but I'm still able to hear out of it. Comment from: motherofascreamer, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: January 03 My ear drum perforated because my three year old daughter let off the highest pitched scream (in excitement), that I have ever heard. She has always been a screamer but the pain was/is so intense I now cannot hear anything. I am currently taking antibiotics because it is seriously infected. I am also worried as my ear is swollen and I am having difficulty talking. Comment from: geoffrey, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: December 17 I wiped out surfing and the surfboard blasted my ear directly. It feels like I can't clear the pressure from my ears. One symptom I haven't heard from others it the sensation that air is entering and escaping through the ear. Comment from: sue, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: November 29 My right eardrum ruptured during takeoff during a flight. I had a bad cold to begin with and knew there was fluid buildup in my right ear before flying, but I certainly didn't expect a rupture and was alarmed. The pain was excruciating and blood seeped out of the ear. The descent of the plane hurt also, but less. I have partial hearing loss on the right side. It's been 4 days now on Amoxicillin, no change so far, I hear this does not go away quickly. Comment from: Yasir, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: July 09 I received a slap on my left ear during a small fight that resulted in almost complete hearing loss immediately. With no pain inside the ear, it feels like something is stuffed in my ear which is blocking my hearing. I don't know whether my eardrum got perforated or not but it was interesting to see slaps are listed as one of the causes for perforation. I hope mine gets recovered soon. I am taking antibiotics but no change in almost two days. Comment from: 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: September 15 My perforated eardrum occurred spontaneously after having a cold and subsequent fluid in my ear. They called it serous otitis media.