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TM Perf

Eardrum Perforation

The eardrum, or tympanic membrane, separates the ear canal from the middle ear and functions like the surface of a drum, receiving and transmitting sounds from outside the ear to the hearing organ. The eardrum can develop a perforation, or a hole, in it from trauma, excess pressure or severe ear infections. Eardrum perforations can cause hearing loss, ear ringing, ear drainage or a higher risk for ear infections. A large amount of eardrum perforations will heal on their own. If an eardrum perforation does not heal on its own then surgery may need to be performed to repair it.

Eardrum Perforation Repair

There are many ways an eardrum perforation can be repaired. Sometimes a small patch can be placed over the hole which acts as a scaffolding to allow the eardrum to heal on its own. Other times a graft of fascia or cartilage can be used to repair the perforation. The eardrum and the tissue used to close it may be accessed through the ear canal or through an incision behind the ear. A minority of patients may have the graft or repair not completely seal resulting in an incomplete closure of the hole. The decision as to which method will be used depends on the size, location and age of the perforation. A thorough discussion of the risks, benefits and various methods will allow you and your physician to make a decision as to the best method for you. After surgery, most patients go home the same day. The middle ear and ear canal may be packed causing hearing difficulty until it is removed or dissolves completely. If an incision is made behind the ear, it usually heals very well and is rarely visible after surgery.

If you have an eardrum perforation that is causing problems, call us today to schedule an appointment!

Our Location

Third Coast ENT

1615 Pasadena Avenue South
Suite 220
St. Petersburg, FL 33707