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Perforation of the ear drum - Definition


The tympanic membrane, commonly known as the ear drum, is a membrane of the middle ear that, by vibrating, allows for sound information to be transferred to the inner ear, which converts these vibrations into neural messages that the brain can interpret. Perforation of the ear drum is common, and can occur due to the insertion of a Q-tip, or cotton-tipped stick, or other such foreign object too far into the ear canal, causing severe pain. Another common cause for perforation is mild, acute, progressed ear infection, where the ear drum bulges until it is no longer able to cope with the pressure on its internal section due to inflammation and the resulting build-up of fluid and ruptures, letting fluid flow into the external ear canal. In most cases, if the perforation is small, hearing is unaffected, and the ear drum heals itself within a few months.