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Ear injury during wakeboard jump. What determines if surgery is needed?

I fell doing a wakeboard jump and my ear slapped the water hard. I went to an urgent care facility since I m away from home. They irrigated it and removed a lot of wax. When the doc was able to see the ear drum he said it was perforated. He recommended seeing an ENT specialist . I ve read a lot about drums healing on their own. What determines if surgery is needed and can I wait a period of time safely before that determination is made? Also a still have water behind the drum. Ive read that my eustacion tube is sealed off, is that true? When I ve plugged my nose and blown gently I ve had some success getting water to drain out of the ear. Is that ok to do? It gives a sense of relief when I do it. I have very little pain now 48 hours after the crash. Will this water drain on it s own and when so does it drain back out of the hole I now have in the drum or will it drain down my sinuses and throat? Sorry for all the questions, I can t afford health insurance and as long as I m not doing irreparable damage I m inclined to wait and see if this heals on its own. Please advise.
Asked On : Sun, 5 Aug 2012
Answers:  1 Views:  396
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ENT Specialist 's  Response

The answer to if your eardrum is going to heal on its own depends on the size of the hole any associated infection of the middle ear etc. A very clean, non infected pinhead size holes can heal. A larger hole has to be repaired. This decision can only be taken after an ENT specialist is able to examine you; which you should do when you get the first chance. My advise to you till then would be not to worry about the water which already went in during the wakeboard event. Avoid any fresh entry of water into the ear. You can wait till you go back to your place and get treated unless you have any fresh symptoms of ear discharge including pus, pain in the ear etc.

Answered: Fri, 10 May 2013
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