An eardrum rupture is a minute hole or split between the eardrum or tympanic membrane. The tympanic membrane is a delicate tissue that separates the middle ear and outer ear canal. This membrane flutters when sound currents enter the ear. The vibration extends through the bones of the middle ear and this enables us to hear and when this eardrum is damaged it impacts listening. A ruptured eardrum is also termed a perforated eardrum. In exceptional cases, this ailment can cause persistent hearing loss.


Pain is the foremost symptom of eardrum rupture which may be medium to severe in nature. The pain can remain steady completely throughout the day, or it can increase or decrease in intensity. Normally the ear begins to drain once the pain passes incessantly. In many cases, watery, bloody, or pus-filled fluids may drain from the affected ear. A tear that emerges from a middle ear infection normally causes gushing. Such ear infections are more likely to occur in young children, people with colds or the flu, or in regions with poor air quality.

Causes of eardrum rupture

Ear infection is a constant element of an eardrum rupture, especially in children. During an ear infection, fluids get collected behind the eardrum. The tension from the fluid buildup can cause the tympanic sheath to break or rupture.

Stress or Pressure changes

Pressure changes in the ear can also lead to a perforated eardrum.  Let me elaborate about Barotrauma a medical condition wherein the pressure outside the ear is widely different from the pressure inside the ear. Activities that can cause barotrauma include:

  • Scuba Diving
  • Operating In An Airplane
  • Driving At High Altitudes
  • Shock Waves
  • An Immediate Forceful Impact To The Ear
  • Damage Or Trauma


Injuries can also create a crack in the eardrum. Any injury which occurs to the ear or one side of the head can produce a rupture. The following have been known to cause eardrum ruptures:

  • Taking Hit In The Ear
  • Bearing An Injury During Sports
  • Falling On Your Ear
  • Car Collisions