The eardrum may also be perforated (punctured) by objects placed in the ear, such as a cotton-tipped swab, or by objects entering the ear accidentally, such as a low-hanging twig or a thrown pencil.
A doctor diagnoses eardrum perforation by looking in the ear with a special instrument called an otoscope. Sometimes formal hearing tests are performed.
The ear is kept dry. An antibiotic given by mouth may be used if the ear becomes infected. Ear drops may be given for contaminated injuries. Usually, the eardrum heals without further treatment, but if it does not heal within 2 months, surgery to repair the eardrum (tympanoplasty) may be needed.