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A tear or hole in the membrane of the middle ear is called a perforated or ruptured eardrum. This can happen if an infection builds up inside the ear or if the eardrum gets injured. Your child may find it hard to hear out of that ear or may hear a buzzing sound. Other symptoms may include an earache or fluid draining from the ear.
The eardrum should heal on its own in a few weeks, and your child should hear normally then. If your child has an infection, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics. Pain relief medicine may be needed for the earache.
Your doctor will check to see if the eardrum has healed. If not, your child may need surgery to repair the eardrum.
Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.
Call your doctor or nurse advice line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your child's health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse advice line if:
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Current as of: March 1, 2023
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.
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