Ruptured eardrum

Tympanic membrane perforation; Eardrum - ruptured or perforated; Perforated eardrum

A ruptured eardrum is an opening or hole in the eardrum. The eardrum is a thin piece of tissue that separates the outer and middle ear. Damage to the eardrum may harm hearing.

Ear anatomy

The ear consists of external, middle, and inner structures. The eardrum and the 3 tiny bones conduct sound from the eardrum to the cochlea.

Medical findings based on ear anatomy

The external structures of the ear may aid in diagnosing some conditions by the presence or absence of normal landmarks and abnormal features including: earlobe creases, preauricular pits, and preauricular tags.

Mastoiditis - side view of head

Mastoiditis is an infection of the bony air cells in the mastoid bone, located just behind the ear. It is rarely seen today because of the use of antibiotics to treat ear infections. This child has drainage from the ear and redness (erythema) behind the ear over the mastoid bone.

Eardrum repair - series

The tympanic membrane (eardrum) separates the outer ear from the middle ear. The membrane vibrates when sound waves strike it, beginning the process that converts the sound wave into a nerve impulse that travels to the brain.

Causes

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Exams and Tests

Treatment

Outlook (Prognosis)

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Prevention