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Perforated Ear Drum

A perforated ear drum is a hole in the ear drum.

Etiology for Perforated Ear Drum

A perforated ear drum happens when there is some sort of trauma to the ear drum.  Types of trauma include penetrating trauma (the most common of which is a Q-tip) and barotrauma (trauma caused by pressure changes).  Anything that is inappropriately inserted into the ear canal can penetrate the ear drum and cause a hole.  Examples include Q-tips, bobby pins, sticks, toys, etc.  Barotrauma can be caused by scuba-diving, travel in an airplane, a bad ear infection or cold that causes fluid build-up in the middle ear, violent sneezing, etc.