The eardrum can be injured due to repeated ear infections, surgery, or trauma. This can leave the deeper portion of the ear susceptible to infection, especially with water exposure. With larger perforations, hearing loss can occur as well. Dr. Davis uses a surgical technique to fix a hole or tear in the eardrum, and the procedure can also be used to repair or replace three small bones behind the eardrum.
Causes of a hole in the eardrum:
Injury either from direct puncture or from a sudden increase in pressure delivered by a wave, surfboard, hand or other object. Chronic ear infections and in some instances the placement of ear tubes can all leave a hole in the tympanic membrane (ear drum).
Symptoms of a hole in the eardrum:
Hearing loss, ringing in your ears, a spinning sensation, or ear drainage. Sometimes they do not cause any symptoms and are noted during a routine physical exam.
Dr. Davis can repair smaller ear drum perforations in the office under local anesthesia using a microscope for visualization. He uses a tiny piece of fat removed through a hidden incision in the back of the ear lobe to repair the hole. Some ear drum perforations, particularly larger ones, need to be repair in a nearby operating room; however, in most patients he can accomplish this using a minimally invasive endoscopic technique that does not require an incision behind the ear. The procedure takes about 90 minutes and patients can go home the same day. Medications are prescribed to control any discomfort and the ear must remain dry during the healing period, which lasts about 4 weeks.
*Results may vary and are not guaranteed*