A perforated (ruptured, punctured) eardrum (tympanic membrane) is a hole or tear in the eardrum. The eardrum separates the ear canal and middle ear. Most ruptured eardrums do not cause pain, however, the condition can be uncomfortable. Bacteria, viral, and fungal infections are the most common causes a ruptured eardrum. Earwax removal attempts, changes in air pressure, and trauma are other causes of a ruptured eardrum.

If you have a ruptured eardrum you may have symptoms like:

  • Ear pain
  • Partial or full hearing loss
  • A mucousy or pus-like blood-tinged discharge from you ear
  • Bleeding from the ear
  • Ringing in the ear
  • Vertigo
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Middle ear infection

Most people do not need medical treatment for a ruptured eardrum, however, some may need surgery depending upon the cause and size of the hole in the eardrum.

REFERENCE: Cleveland Clinic. “Ruptured Eardrum (Perforated Tympanic Membrane).” Updated: Aug 208, 2014.