Definition of Perforated eardrum

Perforated eardrum: a disruption, hole, or other type of defect in the tympanic membrane of the ear (eardrum). Also known as ruptured eardrum, tympanic membrane perforation. Ear infections and insertion of foreign objects into the ear are both common causes of perforated eardrum. Perforated eardrum is a risk factor for further ear infection because the perforation allows bacteria to enter the middle ear. Symptoms can include a sharp pain that occurs suddenly, or the symptoms of an earache like pain and pressure may go away suddenly. Perforation of an eardrum can also occur without causing any specific symptoms.

See also eardrum.

Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.

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