A ruptured eardrum has a tear in it. The torn tissue often is caused by pressure and fluid buildup resulting from a middle ear infection.
The eardrum protects the inner ear from wind and foreign particles, and also helps you hear. When the eardrum is perforated, the University of Michigan Health System says, it can cause temporary or permanent hearing loss.
Treatment may include an antibiotic to clear up any infection, and surgery may be required for large tears. The university recommends protecting the ear from water, cold and wind to reduce pain and the chances for additional injury while the tear heals itself.
Health Tip: Wax Can Build up in the Ear
Some people's ears produce more wax than is necessary to protect the ear from foreign matter. A blockage caused by excess wax can trigger hearing loss, earache, ringing in the ears, or a sensation of fullness in the ear, the U.S. National Library of Medicine says.
There are several ways to treat a wax blockage in the ear, the NLM advises. A doctor may choose to use mineral oil or baby oil, glycerin, hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. The ear can also be irrigated with a syringe full of water at body temperature directed into the ear, then drained.
Once wax has been removed, the ear should be thoroughly dried, such as by a blow dryer used on a low setting, the NLM says.