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Ruptured Eardrum


A ruptured eardrum is a tear or hole in your eardrum.

Ear Anatomy



  • Antibiotic ear drops may be needed to treat or prevent an infection caused by bacteria.
  • Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him or her if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.


  • Always keep your ear dry. Do not let your ear get wet, such as when bathing or swimming. Water may cause your damaged eardrum to heal more slowly and increase your risk for infection.
  • Do not put anything in your ear. Never put objects such as cotton swabs in your ear. Pointed objects may damage or worsen the damage to your eardrum.
  • Try not to blow your nose. The increase in pressure may cause further damage to your eardrum.

Contact your healthcare provider if:

  • You have a fever.
  • Your hearing loss gets worse.
  • You feel increased dizziness, or you are vomiting.
  • You have worsening ear pain or a new buzzing sound in your ear.
  • Your symptoms do not improve, even after you take your medicine.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Seek care immediately or call 911 if:

  • You are bleeding from your ear.
  • You cannot move or feel areas of your face.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Learn more about Ruptured Eardrum (Discharge Care)

Associated drugs

IBM Watson Micromedex

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.