For most people, an earache or ear infection is a minor annoyance that eventually goes away on its own.
In some instances, however, it can turn into a painful and debilitating condition known as a perforated eardrum. You can find out how the best ENT doctor in California can treat a perforated eardrum and whether or not this procedure can help you find lasting relief from your pain and distress.
What is a Perforated Eardrum?
A perforated eardrum is also known as a ruptured eardrum. The eardrum is located in the middle ear. It is a thin sheet of skin that separates the outer ear from the inner ear.
When you suffer from chronic ear infections, the eardrum could rupture because of a buildup of fluid behind it. The rupture is actually a tiny hole or tear in the thin sheet of skin. Despite its small size, the tear or hole can cause immense pain.
Once the eardrum is perforated, it can cause bacteria and virus to buildup in the middle ear canal, causing a condition called otitis media. In the worst case scenario, you could lose some or all of your hearing because of a ruptured eardrum.
The best ENT doctor in California may recommend that you undergo a surgical procedure called a tympanoplasty to repair the damage. You can prepare now by learning what this surgery is and what the recovery period for it is like at home.
What is a Tympanoplasty?
A tympanoplasty is the surgical repairing of a perforated eardrum. The best ENT doctor in California will perform this surgery in the hospital or single day surgery center. You will be put under general anesthesia before the surgery starts.
Once you are asleep, the best ENT doctor in California will either go in through your ear canal or make an incision behind the ear through which to insert the surgical scope. He or she will also use a graft of skin or muscle from your own body to repair the hole or tear.
Given the intricate nature of the procedure, it can last up to three hours to repair the damage. However, once it is finished, you will be taken to a recovery room to awaken and remain under observation. In most cases, you can go home to recuperate shortly after you are stabilized and can keep down clear liquids.
The recovery period for a tympanoplasty can last for three to four weeks. During the first few days, you may feel extremely dizzy. This side effect is normal and will go away on its own after three or for days. You also may have an earache or pain along your jaw line. This pain likewise will go away after a few days. You can take Tylenol for pain relief.
A tympanoplasty may be your best option to repair a perforated eardrum. The best ENT doctor in California can determine if you are a good candidate for this delicate but helpful surgical procedure to repair the eardrum tear or hole.