November 17, 2023

Ruptured Eardrums and Outer Ear Infections (Swimmer's Ear)

Ruptured eardrums are a very common ear issue that triggers an ENT office visit. A ruptured eardrum may occur due to an infection or trauma (from a q-tip or being slapped over the ear). Although it sounds serious, the vast majority of a perforated eardrum heal closed within a few weeks. Rarely, it may take up to one year to close. The video shown above demonstrates a time-lapse healing of a traumatic ruptured eardrum healing closed over 3 weeks. Rarely, if a hole in the eardrum is suspected not to be closing and is causing problems such as hearing loss and recurrent ear infections, it can be surgically closed.

The other common urgent ear issue that is often seen in an ENT office is an outer ear infection, also known as Swimmer's ear. This condition is due to an infection of the ear canal skin causing it to swell. The swelling can get so bad that it blocks hearing and causes severe pain. The video below demonstrates what a Swimmer's ear looks like and how it is treated.

Fauquier blog
Fauquier ENT

Dr. Christopher Chang is a private practice otolaryngology, head & neck surgeon specializing in the treatment of problems related to the ear, nose, and throat. Located in Warrenton, VA about 45 minutes west of Washington DC, he also provides inhalant allergy testing/treatment, hearing tests, and dispenses hearing aids.

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