Symptoms and causes

Symptoms and causes

What is it?

It is a hole in the eardrum. This may happen as a result from an injury, for example, from sticking a cotton swab in too deep or after prior ear infections.


The following are highly common syptoms of an eardrum performation:

  • hearing whistling in the ear
  • mild hearing loss
  • ear drainage

There are also people who do not have any symptoms.

Diagnosis and treatment

Diagnosis and treatment


Treatment consists of a micro-otoscopic exam and a hearing test. In some cases, a CT scan may be indicated. If an eardrum perforation persists, there is an increased risk of recurrent infections if it comes into contact with water.

There is also the chance for infection if a hearing aid is used in this ear. In such cases, or in the case of hearing loss, an operation is the only treatment option.

Treatment centres and specialisations

Treatment centres and specialisations
Ear, nose, and throat diseases (ENT)

Latest publication date: 10/10/2023
Supervising author: Dr. Vermeiren Judith