last night at 3am i woke up in excruciating pain – no joke. my right ear has decided to take vengeance against its attached head and the pressure was almost too much to cope with. i was up for about 2 hours waiting for the pain to subside enough to be able to lay back down. i tried layin’ on the left side, sitting up, walking around, etc….nothing worked. I now know why they call it an eardrum….my shit was POUNDING….

below is an example of how i felt…Random.Eardrum

When i was a small child i had ear infection issues all the time…it was like, my thing….however, as much as they ruled me i don’t really recall how gosh dang painful they are…..

i went to the doc this mornin’ and she put the tingy in my ear canal and said, ‘whoa, that looks like it’s about to rupture….’….

i said….’please, make it stop….’

so she handed me a piece of paper with an antibiotic remedy and sent me on my way……

i got to thinking while i was driving to the pharmacy….what the hell will happen if my eardrum ruptures while i’m driving? will i go deaf? will wax pour out of the side of my head because there is a hole? will my ear forever be flucked? unfortunately, i didn’t have time to go over all this with her since i was late to my appointment (as i’m late to everything in life…..)

now that i’ve had a chance to look it up, i feel a bit better…..a ruptured, or perforated, eardrum is not the end. it isn’t permanent….but it does make your ear hate you for a little while during the healing process….

here are some tings i have learned from this experience….i have highlighted in red my most favorite bits of info.

Random.Eardrum

Perforated Eardrum Overview

The eardrum (tympanic membrane) is a thin, oval layer of tissue deep in the ear canal. It helps protect the delicate middle and inner ear from the outside.

It is called an eardrum because it looks and acts like a drum. The eardrum receives vibrations from the outer earand transmits them to the small hearing bones (ossicles), of the middle ear.

Because it is so thin, the eardrum can be ruptured or punctured. The hole exposes the middle and inner ear to damage or infection.

 

Perforated Eardrum Causes

 

 

Infection of the middle ear is the most common cause of a ruptured eardrum.

  • Infections can be caused by viruses, bacteria, or fungi
  • Infections increase the pressure behind your eardrum, stretching the drum and causing pain
    • When the eardrum can no longer stretch, it bursts or tears. 
    • Frequently, the pain gets better, because the pressure is now relieved, however, sometimes the pain can get worse.

 

  • Trauma can also cause perforation. 
    • Blunt or penetrating trauma, such as from a fall on the side of your head or a stick that goes deep in your ear 
    • Rapid changes in pressure, for example, scuba diving (barotrauma, ear pain, or ear squeeze), or going up in an elevator too fast

 

  • The eardrum can be ruptured in other ways. 
    • Slaps to the ear, such as a fall while water skiing or a hand slap to the side of the head  
    • Lightning blasts 
    • Blast waves from gunshots, fireworks, and other loud noises 
    • Changes in air pressure during air travel or scuba diving 
    • Sharp objects or cotton-tipped swabs 
    • Motor vehicle accidents 
    • Falls 
    • Sports injuries

 

  • Prevention

    Some causes of ruptured eardrums cannot be prevented or avoided. A little caution can lower the risk.

    • Treat ear infections early.

    • Avoid flying or scuba diving if you have sinus infection or upper respiratory tract infection.

    • If you must fly or scuba dive, pinch your nose and swallow air frequently to help equalize the pressure.

    • Never put anything in your ear, even to clean it (for example, Q-Tips).

    • Wear proper ear protection such as ear plugs or protection designed for sports activities.  

  • Outlook

    After a few weeks, the patient should notice no long-term symptoms. Perforated eardrums generally heal within two months, and any accompanying hearing loss is usually temporary.

 

in conclusion: my ear firggin hurts. 😦

Advertisements