Eardrum plays a very important role to make people hear. In fact, it is because of Eardrum we can hear the sounds and noises around us. Sound travels in the form of waves towards the ear drum (via the ear canal) and vibrates it to form signals which are then sent towards the brain. Here are some facts you need to know about your ear drum.
01. Eardrum consists of three flexible layers
Human Eardrum consists of three layers; outer layer is thin skin and middle layer is made of fibrous tissue while the inmost layer is made of mucosa. Eardrum is attached to the sidewalls of the end of the outer ear with a special type of tissue called tympanic ring or annulus.
02. What is tympanic membrane perforation
Eardrum is also called tympanic membrane. Due to many reasons, Eardrum can be damaged. Such damage is known to be tympanic membrane perforation. Here are some common causes
– Penetration (inserting a sticks to touch the Eardrum)
– Barotrauma (sudden, significant differences in air pressure)
03. Eardrums can be repaired
With special surgeries and treatments, Eardrum perforation can be repaired. There are three surgery types to select from depending on the type of the damage; Myringoplasty, Tympanoplasty and Ossiculoplasty.
04. Symptoms of tympanic membrane perforation
Ruptured (perforated) Eardrum can be identified in the presence of following symptoms
– Hearing loss
– Bloody drainage from the ear
– Ear pain
– Spinning sensation
– Tinnitus (a constant ringing in the ear)
05. How the ruptured Eardrum is diagnosed?
A physician will observe your ear with the assistance of a special torch called otoscope. Nevertheless, if your ear has large amounts of clogged substances like wax and infections, the doctor will find it difficult to identify the rupture.
06. Can Eardrums heal automatically?
Yes, Eardrums are made of skin and they can heal within 6-8 months under normal circumstances. However, the patient should avoid water from getting in to the ear as it can worsen the situation.
07. How to prevent your Eardrum from ruptures
You can prevent your Eardrums by adhering to the following.
– Never neglect ear infections. It is compulsory to see a doctor as soon as you feel an infection in the ear.
– When you fly, have your ears protected with earplugs during take offs and landings.
– Don’t let any foreign objects into the ear unless it is done by a trained physician.
– Don’t expose yourself to excessive noise. Make sure you use ear protection upon such instances.
08. Can ruptured Eardrum cause deafness?
Yes, a damaged Eardrum can cause deafness (depending on the amount of the damage though)
09. How to keep loud noises away?
Use earplugs whenever you have to expose to excessive noise.
10. How much of pressure can your Eardrum tolerate?
At a pressure level of 100,000 pascals (100 kPa), your Eardrums become ruptured. However, even at lower pressure levels (35kPa) your Eardrum becomes vulnerable to rupture.