ZocdocAnswersDid I perforate my eardrum?

Question

Did I perforate my eardrum?

The other day I put a cotton swab too far into my ear and it made my hearing go away temporarily and it felt really stuffy. Now I still have ringing in my ear with pressure and more stuffiness. Did I perforate my eardrum? What should I do about it?

Answer

You definitely need to get in to see your primary care doctor about this issue immediately. It is never recommended that you insert objects like cotton swabs into the ear, for several reasons. First, sometimes part of the cotton swab may come off and get stuck inside the ear canal. Second, you may directly damage the ear drum. Third, you may scratch the inside of the ear canal, which could lead to a risk of infection. Given the fact that you are having pressure, stuffiness, and ringing in your ear, you definitely need to have your doctor look inside your ear and figure out what is going on. Based on your symptoms, it is hard to speculate about which of the three possibilities could be going on, as all three could give these symptoms. However, your doctor can take a quick look and help you sort it out. If you have an infection, you may need antibiotic ear drops or pills. If you have some cotton lodged in your ear, your doctor should be able to remove it for you. If your ear drum is ruptured or damaged, you may need to be referred to an ear specialist for further treatment.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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