Rupture or Perforation of the Membrane of the Ear may result from exposure of the ear to loud sounds, as the firing of a cannon, or a violent explosion of any kind, or perforation may occur by puncturing with an instrument used in removing wax from the ear, or accidentally introduced into the auditory canal, or by ulceration as a result of suppuration of the middle ear Cases of rupture of the membrane have also been known to occur in consequence of the injudicious use of the nasal douche. Rupture of the membrane has also been caused by boxing the ears, or by a blow upon the ear from a snow-ball. The accident generally causes loud buzzing in the ear and confusion in the head. In many cases the ear whistles when the patient blows his nose, due to the passage of air through it. The condition of the drum membrane is easily ascertained by an examination by means of the ear speculum, of which two forms are shown in Figs. 458 and 459. Light is thrown upon the membrane through the speculum by means of the concave mirror, such as is used in examining the throat.

Fig. 458. Ear Specula of three sizes.

Fig. 458. Ear Specula of three sizes.

Fig. 459. A Bi-valve Ear Specula.

Fig. 459. A Bi-valve Ear Specula.

The Treatment of Rupture or Perforation of the Membrane of the Ear

The pain may be relieved by fomentations. If inflammation occurs, hot douches to the ear should be employed, but not otherwise. In a majority of cases, rupture of the membrane heals quite readily, especially when it is the result of puncture with a sharp body, as a knitting-needle.