When the pressure from fluid buildup is too high inside the middle ear, the eardrum can rupture, as shown here. When the eardrum bursts, brown, yellow, or whitish fluid can drain from the ear. Sometimes when the eardrum bursts, the pain suddenly resolves because the pressure is relieved.
Ruptured Eardrum Symptoms
A ruptured eardrum can cause many symptoms. However, the most common symptoms of a ruptured eardrum are an uncomfortable feeling in the ear and the sound of air coming out of the ear when blowing your nose. The following are other symptoms of a ruptured eardrum:
- Sudden sharp ear pain or a sudden decrease in ear pain
- Drainage from the ear that may be bloody, clear, or resemble pus
- Ear noise or buzzing
- Hearing loss that may be partial or complete in the affected ear
- Episodic ear infections
- Facial weakness or dizziness
Ruptured Eardrum Treatment
The eardrum usually heals without medical treatment within a few weeks after a rupture, and hearing is typically not worsened unless it continues to occur frequently over a period of time. Antibiotics may be prescribed in order to prevent an ear infection. Over-the-counter pain medications may also be suggested if the ruptured eardrum is causing pain. The eardrum may require surgery to repair the rupture. If this is the case, a doctor will attach a piece of your own tissue, usually from above the ear, to the eardrum for reconstruction.