DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Perforated eardrum. Blood in the external ear of a 3 year old boy due to a perforated eardrum, or tympanic membrane. The eardrum is a thin membrane that transmits sounds, by vibration, from the outer ear to the middle ear. It can be easily torn by trauma, infection, a loud noise, or the insertion of a foreign object into the ear canal. A perforated eardrum reduces hearing, but usually heals within a month. If it is badly damaged, however, it may require surgery.
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