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How can you tell if you have a hole in your eardrum?

Discussion in 'Basic Scuba Discussions' started by BlueDolphin, Feb 12, 2005.

  1. BlueDolphin

    BlueDolphin Solo Diver

    Besides the obvious (go see a doc).

    How do you know if you have a hole in your eardrum? When it happens is there a great deal of pain?
  2. Snowbear

    Snowbear NOK ScubaBoard Supporter

    Hmmmm... well... strategic use of mirrors, lights and an otoscope should be revealing :wink:

    I've never busted an eardrum, but I've stumbled across a few threads on SB where folks say the ear pain actually goes away when the drum breaks.
  3. molksmith

    molksmith Solo Diver

    Go See a Doctor,
    I would imagine you would exhibit some symptoms such as vertigo, dizziness, not being able to hear would be one sign.
    In all seriousness go to a specialist immediately. No matter what ear problems you have. It could be wax, could be slight barotrauma, could be more serious. But there is no joking when it comes to your ears.
    Would you wait if one of your eyes didn't work?
    when it comes to the five senses I don't play around.

  4. scubatoys

    scubatoys ScubaBoard Business Sponsor ScubaBoard Business Sponsor

    If it happens in the water, you should get massive vertigo, then that will go away in a bit, then anytime you try to equalize, you may get bubbles coming out the ear... then a very clogged feeling at the surface after you get out.

    Actually, the holes will heal pretty quick and should not have any permenant hearing damage... but bad infection untreated can cause more problems than the hole did. So if there is a chance you have this... run to the ENT... If it's a question for general knowledge... hopefully that helps!
  5. jbd

    jbd Dive Shop

    As the pressure on one side of the eardrum increases you will feel increasing discomfort and and pain. Once the eardrum ruptures, the pain will go away immediately(as noted in Snowbears post) and you will most likely have vertigo(as noted in scubatoys post) caused by the cool of cold water entering the middle ear space.
    As scubatoys notes a small tear will heal on its own in most cases, but infection is a problem. If this has happened to you then you need to go to your doctor so he or she can prescribe appropriate medication to prevent/treat infection. You need not necessarily see an ENT. Unless there is something way out of the ordinary with your ears most all doctors, nurses and physcian's asstistants can evaluate the condition of your eardrum with an otoscope.
  6. mania

    mania Cousin Itt ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Warsaw, Poland
    When eardrum ruptures it's really very painfull. So you will know that something happened.
    And if it's a small hole then you have to go to the ENT - microscope is needed to check the eardrum. Otoscope is not enough. The small hole heals by themselves with a minor loss of hearing. But if it's more serious then it should operate by ENT.
    So - simply go to see ENT.
  7. BlueDolphin

    BlueDolphin Solo Diver

    Hmmmmm thanks all.

    No pain at all.

    I just noticed all of a sudden that when I burp or sometimes swallow I notice a defenite crackle like gurgle sound in one ear only. The same ear. Almost like there is air escaping from inside out. Just kinda weird. It just started happening. At first I thought it was a cold or ear infection coming on... but it has been a week and no other symptoms.

    I'm gonna jump in the pool and see if I notice any troubles. Just curious if there is any pain, etc., associated with an eardrum hole, burst, etc.. It sounds like it could be a small hole perhaps. I hear fine with the ear.

    Anyway..... thanks a bunch.
  8. StSomewhere

    StSomewhere Loggerhead Turtle

    You very likely have fluid behind your eardrum if you have a "crackle like gurgle sound". Trust me, you can have an inner ear infection and never have the standard cold systems. We've had quite the outbreak of inner ear infections around here for the past month or so.

    BTW, when the pressure builds up behind an eardrum is when its most painful. After it ruptures, the pressure on the eardrum is released and the pain goes away but the eardrum still would need to heal before diving.
  9. PaulChristenson

    PaulChristenson Solo Diver

    Just curious...why would you not go to a physician and have it diagnosed and treated properly???

    Paul in VT
  10. DCROOK

    DCROOK Angel Fish

    Turn you head sideways, if you brain falls out, you have a hole.

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