Perforated ear drum or fibro pain?

Hi there

I am worried that I may have a perforated ear drum or maybe I have an infection which is causing the pain behind my eardrum. Briefly, I've had a virus (stomach) so have been below par for the past week and ear pain overlapped with it but it may be that having a virus has caused this underlying pain to be worse. I haven't had a temperature at all which makes me think it isn't an infection and I've had no discharge. If my eardrum is perforated I could have caused it as I'm forever scratching inside my ears because they get unbearably itchy. Nurofen helps the pain. Also I had bad tinnitus, sounding like clipped buzzing! But that has eased now and also no hearing loss at the moment but over the years I do get blocked ears from time to time which I unblock with oil.

Thanks in advance

18 Replies

  • Sweet oil is the best!! Use that a lot!!

  • I think I need to keep oil out of my ears if it's a perforated eardrum...I have put oil in my ears which I usually do for blocked ears but anything in them is hurting them at the moment :(

  • I am so genuinely sorry to read this and I sincerely hope that your hearing recovers soon. The only way to be sure if to get your doctor to have a look in your ears. I want to genuinely wish you all the best of luck.

    All my hopes and dreams for you


  • Thanks so much, Ken. It turns out that it's part of the virus. Not a perforated drum after all. She has prescribed me Sudafed alongside the nurofen I've already been taking. Hope it works because my right ear is mega painful!

  • I genuinely hope that it clears up soon, as viruses like this are not very pleasant.

    Take care my friend


  • Many thanks, Ken :)

  • You couldn't perforate your eardrum with a finger. Hope you havent been poking about with cotton buds.


  • It's not a perforated drum , thank goodness. The duty doctor thinks the pain is from the virus and the pressure within caused by the bug.

  • i dont think its yr eardrum as that is way down inside yr ear ive had ear problems for a few weeks and i think its another symptom of fibro my doc gave me some drops to put in three times a day to help, i understand about the itching though i wake up and cant hear out of my left ear and its always "popping". what sort of oil do you use ? kind wishes

  • Thanks Anjila. No, I've just been to see the duty doctor this lunchtime and she thinks it's almost certainly the virus I've had that is causing the pain in my ears. She couldn't see the eardrum because of the wax but said it sounds as if the pressure is coming from within. She's prescribed Sudafed to go along with the Nurofen. I use the special oil that you can buy from the pharmacy for my ears and put it in a bottle and dropped before warming it up under the tap. I hope your own ear problems clear up soon. x

  • You need to go and get it checked out by your doctor asap. If you do have a perforated ear drum then don't put oil in it, don't put anything in it.

    I've always had troublesome ears, filling up with wax and flaky skin and blocking up, getting infections etc. Often the first sign of infection is itchy ears, but I also have eczema in my ears so they often itch. Last year I had terrible problems and the doctor took swabs and I had candida fungal infection and pseudomonas bacterial infection in both ears. It was very painful and took five lots of a fungal and a bacterial medication and about three months to clear up. I had three hospital appointments to get my ears micro syringed too. Pseudomonas is dangerous because if it travels into the brain it can cause brain damage.

    Afterwards the hospital said you shouldn't get your ears syringed with water by the surgery as the water can be a problem for bacterial infections. So now I will be on a yearly recall to get my ears micro syringed at the hospital. It uses suction not water. My GP also said no-one should put anything in their ears including cotton buds, oils and especially our fingers. They are delicate instruments and very susceptible to damage and infection. They should self clean too. It means I can't wear earplugs any more either which has been difficult to get used to. Though I do wonder if that was part of my problem.

    Anyway, the moral is don't put anything in your ears and if you have earache or unstoppable itchiness get your GP to check them first before you do anything. This is especially so if you think you have a perforated ear drum.

    Good luck, hope you get some relief from it soon


  • Good grief, Margaret, that sounds terrible. Very sorry to hear what you've gone through. I saw the duty doctor today and she's 95% sure that the ear pain is connected to my virus and that it's not a perforated eardrum but the opposite ie pressure from within. She's given me some sudafed to take along side the nurofen (the only meds that give relief).

    I have a phobia now about getting my ears syringed. I've only had them done twice in my life, once as a child and then again as an adult. When I had them done as an adult (about 10 years ago) I was very nervous and saw a nice nurse a couple of weeks before re softening the wax in my ears. But on the day it was like a production line and the nurse who did mine hurt my ear (same ear as is causing me pain now). She said it was probably just a sore spot but have never forgotten her dismissive response and have refused to have her for anything else in the surgery again.


  • Hi Moggy.

    Glad to hear it's not a perforated ear drum as that can be quite problematic. Hope the meds do the trick.

    I know the hospital said that I shouldn't get my ears wet at all if possible as bacterial infections like to grow in warm damp areas. They advised me not to get my ears syringed by the water method again and I got the impression they are trying to persuade GP surgeries from offering that and move towards micro syringing though the equipment looked a lot more expensive than a little pump and a jug of water!!

    My GP also said I should put a bit of petroleum jelly around the outer edge of my ear hole and put a little plug of cotton wool in to seal my ear when in the shower or getting my head wet for any reason.

    That and not wearing earplugs anymore does seem to have made a difference but I still seem to have eczema in my ears as they still itch. And it's very difficult not to stick your finger in and scratch!!!!

    Hope it clears up soon!

    Gentle hugs


  • Thanks for your support, Margaret. I don't really know what to do as my ear is just as painful today :( The duty doctor said it was pressure behind the ear and suggested the OTC decongestant (Sudafed) would help clear it but I can't see any difference :( The pain is just as strong once the nurofen wears off - that is the only thing which provided relief so suggests an inflammation. I did try putting oil in my ears to clear the wax (which is what I usually do) but this is different that usual. Usually when I have blocked ears I have temporary loss of hearing but I've not got that this time. So I'm waiting for today's duty doctor to phone back this afternoon.


    Moggy xx

  • Hi Foggy,

    It could be a TMJ (tempero-mandibular joint) issue, which is common with FMS.

    The pain can be excruciating, & sometimes my jaw locks up. The more I grit my teeth, the worse the pain, & tinnitus gets.

    Maybe ask your GP to check you out for this.


  • Thanks Leverette

    I did just that earlier today and she said that the pain is very likely to be linked to my virus and that it's coming from within the ear. Strange virus though - stomach and ear affected! I could understand if I'd have had the cough virus!


  • Virus' & bacteria behave differently in the body, depending on how & where they replicate. Nasty wee critters!

    Hope you're feeling better soon!


  • Thanks M! Yes feeling bit better in myself apart from this blinking ear pain but nurofen keeping pain at bay.

    Moggy X

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