DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Perforated eardrum. Blood in the external ear of a 4 year old boy due to a perforated eardrum, or tympanic membrane. The eardrum is a very thin membrane and can be easily torn by trauma, infection, a loud noise, or the insertion of a foreign object into the ear canal. The eardrum transmits sounds, by vibration, from the outer ear to the middle ear. Therefore perforation of the eardrum can reduce hearing. A perforated eardrum should heal within a month or so, but if badly damaged it may require surgery.
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