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At the Center for Neurosciences, we work together across specialties to provide the best, most comprehensive approach to treatment.

Tympanic Membrane Perforations (Ruptured Eardrum)

The tympanic membrane (ear drum) is a thin, drum-like layer of tissue that separates the external auditory canal from the middle ear. A ruptured eardrum or tympanic membrane perforation is a tear or hole in the eardrum. Several factors can cause a ruptured eardrum, including middle ear infections, injury to the ear from a very loud noise or a powerful slap, barotrauma or insertion of cotton swabs and other foreign objects into the ear.

Some symptoms that may accompany a ruptured eardrum are ear drainage, earache, tinnitus and hearing loss. In more severe cases, facial weakness or dizziness may also occur.

Most ruptured eardrums will heal on their own in a few weeks without treatment. If the hole doesn’t close by itself, surgical repair may be recommended to improve hearing and prevent recurrent ear infections.

Why Choose Us

  • Dr. Abraham Jacob, Medical Director for Ear & Hearing (E&H) at the Center for Neurosciences (CNS), is fellowship trained in Otology, Neurotology, and Cranial Base Surgery. He is the first and most experienced Neurotologist in Tucson.
  • Dr. Jacob was a founding member of the University of Arizona (UA) Department of Otolaryngology prior to his departure and transition to CNS. At UA, he was Vice Chair of ENT and held the rank of full Professor with Tenure. He has an international reputation as an expert for treating ear diseases.
  • Dr. Jacob transitioned his practice to the Center for Neurosciences in early 2017 as he felt that the new environment helped him to optimize delivery of personalized ear and lateral skull base care for his patients.
  • Dr. Jacob’s offices at E&H are equipped with ceiling-mounted operating microscopes that allow him to perform thorough examinations and cleaning of both ears. A variety of specially prepared topical medications are then applied to the deepest aspects of the ear canals in order to treat infections. Many of these preparations are not available commercially. Comprehensive audiometric testing and balance assessment can be performed at CNS, and a variety of diagnostic imaging modalities such as CT scans and MR imaging are available. While most tympanic membrane perforations heal spontaneously, some do not. Rest assured that if surgical management is required, Dr. Jacob is the most highly trained & clinically experienced ear/temporal bone surgeon in Tucson.