Most perforated eardrums heal without treatment within a few weeks. Your doctor may prescribe antibiotic drops if there's evidence of infection. If the tear or hole in your eardrum doesn't heal by itself, treatment will involve procedures to close the perforation. These may include:
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- Eardrum patch. If the tear or hole in your eardrum doesn't close on its own, an ENT specialist may seal it with a patch. With this office procedure, your ENT may apply a chemical to the edges of the tear to stimulate growth and then apply a patch over the hole. The procedure may need to be repeated more than once before the hole closes.
- Surgery. If a patch doesn't result in proper healing or your ENT determines that the tear isn't likely to heal with a patch, he or she may recommend surgery. The most common surgical procedure is called tympanoplasty. Your surgeon grafts a tiny patch of your own tissue to close the hole in the eardrum. This procedure is done on an outpatient basis, meaning you can usually go home the same day unless medical anesthesia conditions require a longer hospital stay.
- Perforated eardrum. American Academy of Otolaryngology — Head and Neck Surgery. http://www.entnet.org/HealthInformation/perforatedEardrum.cfm. Accessed Oct. 7, 2013.
- Evans AK, et al. Evaluation and management of middle ear trauma. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Oct. 7, 2013.
- Kliegman RM, et al. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 19th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2011. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Oct. 7, 2013.
- Vernick DM. Ear barotrauma. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Oct. 3, 2013.
- Have Wise Ears for life. National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. https://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/hearing/pages/wiseears.aspx. Accessed Oct. 3, 2013.
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