ComplicationsBy Mayo Clinic staff
Complications can occur while your eardrum is healing or if it fails to heal. Possible complications include:
- Hearing loss. Usually, hearing loss is temporary, lasting only until the tear or hole in your eardrum has healed. The size and location of the tear can affect the degree of hearing loss.
- Middle ear infection (otitis media). A perforated eardrum can allow bacteria to enter your ear. If a perforated eardrum doesn't heal or isn't repaired, you may be vulnerable to ongoing (chronic) infections that can cause permanent hearing loss.
- Middle ear cyst (cholesteatoma). A cholesteatoma is a cyst in your middle ear composed of skin cells, your ear canal's normal waxy discharge (cerumen) and other debris. This debris normally migrates to your outer ear in the form of earwax. If your eardrum is ruptured, the debris can pass into your middle ear and form a cyst. A cholesteatoma provides a friendly environment for bacteria and contains proteins that can damage bones of your middle ear.
- Perforated eardrum. American Academy of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery. http://www.entnet.org/HealthInformation/perforatedEardrum.cfm. Accessed Nov. 16, 2010.
- Evans AK, et al. Evaluation and management of middle ear trauma. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Nov. 16, 2010.
- Lustig LR, et al. Ear, nose and throat disorders. In: McPhee SJ, et al. Current Medical Diagnosis and Treatment. 50th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies. 2011. http://www.accessmedicine.com/content.aspx?aID=2436&searchStr=tympanic+membrane+perforation. Accessed Nov. 16, 2010.
- Vernick DM, et al. Ear barotrauma. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Nov. 16, 2010.
- Limb CJ, et al. Acute otitis media in adults (suppurative and serous). http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Nov. 16, 2010.
- Cholesteatoma. American Academy of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery. http://www.entnet.org/HealthInformation/cholesteatoma.cfm. Accessed Nov. 22, 2010.
- Yates PD, et al. Otitis media. In: Lalwani AK. Current Diagnosis and Treatment in Otolaryngology. 2nd ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies. 2008. http://www.accessmedicine.com/content.aspx?aID=2830509. Accessed Nov. 23, 2010.
- Shelby JH (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Nov. 28, 2010.