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Rupture of the eardrum

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Rupture of the eardrum

A ruptured eardrum is a tear or hole in the membrane of the middle ear, usually as a result of injury (trauma). The eardrum may also rupture from fluid buildup in the middle ear.

A person with fluid buildup in the ear may have severe pain that gets better or goes away when the eardrum ruptures and the pressure is relieved. A ruptured eardrum usually drains suddenly, leaking fluid that often looks like pus and smells bad or may even be bloody.

The eardrum usually heals on its own in 1 to 2 weeks, usually without hearing loss. But the injury or infection that caused the rupture usually requires treatment and a visit to a doctor.

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This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated, disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. Learn how we develop our content.