Ear Drum Perforations
Ear Drum Perforations can have many causes ranging from trauma, infections, or prior ear surgeries including ear tube placement. The ear drum acts as both an amplifier to aid in hearing as well as acts as a barrier to preventing bacteria and other substances from the outside world from contacting sensitive middle ear mucosa. Therefore, a hole in your ear drum can manifest as either hearing loss, chronic infection, or both.
If you think you may have a hole in your ear drum it is important to get evaluated by an ENT. A provider may look at your ear drum with a specialized microscope, and will likely get a hearing test to quantify the degree of hearing loss it is causing you as well to assess for other problems with the ear related to the perforation.
There are a few types of surgical procedures that can be done to reconstruct your ear drum and these approaches are tailored to your specific need and may involve a patch (called a myringoplasty) or more formal reconstruction of the ear drum (called a tympanoplasty). Sometimes the hearing bones may need to be reconstructed as well, called an “ossicular chain reconstruction” or “OCR”. These procedures are performed in a minimally invasive manner using microscopes or endoscopes and are typically done on an outpatient basis.