Tympanic membrane perforation, or a ruptured eardrum, is a hole in the eardrum (tympanic membrane).
The eardrum is a very thin membrane made of tissue that separates the middle ear from the ear canal. The eardrum aids in hearing and in preventing bacteria and other foreign matter from entering the middle ear.
A ruptured eardrum may heal itself and not require treatment. Healing usually takes about a month. However, eardrums that have ruptured because of a chronic ear infection usually require treatment.
Patients with a ruptured eardrum may be at an increased risk of an ear infection, because the opening in the membrane allows bacteria to enter the middle ear and cause infection.
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