Q. My audiometry test shows good result after 3 months of an ear injury. Can I assure my ear's health?

Answered by
Dr. B Vageesh Padiyar
and medically reviewed by Dr. Vinodhini. J
This is a premium question & answer published on Jul 21, 2020

Hi doctor,

I fell down and hit my right ear three months ago. The doctor said that I did not rupture my eardrum. Recently, I went for an audiometric test just to be sure, and the hearing test result is good for all frequencies.

So does that mean that my ear is fine? Will I have a delayed onset of hearing loss in the future due to this injury (fell and hit my ear)? Could it be that I have dislocated my middle ear bones?



Welcome to icliniq.com.

There is absolutely nothing that you need to worry about regarding the hearing or after effects of the fall.

If the doctor who has examined you confirmed that there has been no rupture in the eardrum, there is a very little or rare possibility that the middle ear ossicles would have got damaged. Furthermore, the audiometric assessment has been perfectly normal. If there was any disturbance in the ossicles, there would have definitely been some hearing loss associated.

The fall has nothing to do with hearing loss due to neurological involvement. Even if it happens, the fall has no connection to it and the reason might be something totally different.

Delayed onset dislocation of ossicle is not possible unless there has been a very severe trauma that has ruptured the eardrum. In most cases, even after sustaining a severe injury, we find the ossicles are intact as they have multiple ligament, muscular, and mucosal fold supports which makes them sturdy in spite of their tiny appearance.

There is absolutely nothing that you need to worry about as of now.

I hope this helps.

Thank you doctor,

One more thing to ask you. I forgot to mention that at the time when I fell and hit my ear, my hearing was muffled for only a few hours. And I had my eardrum checked by doctor only after two months after the fall. In this case, could it be that I had ruptured my eardrum but it had recovered on its own before I got it checked by doctor? I do not think I still need to worry about any delayed onset of ossicles dislocation, based on your explanation just now and because my hearing is perfectly normal now?



Welcome back to icliniq.com.

In such a scenario, there is a possibility that your eardrum would have got ruptured due to the impact. That would have been the cause of the muffled noises, ringing sensation, or even decreased hearing for a brief period.

In my experience, almost 98% of patients who presented with a traumatic perforation had recovered on their own and I did not have to give an antibiotic either. The healing time varies from four to six weeks usually. Unless and until there has been some factor like an infection which usually does not let the perforation close within this time frame, all traumatic perforations have excellent healing rates.

Yes, all patients did have their hearing evaluated and 98% had a perfectly normal hearing following two months of the injury. I am certain that there is nothing that you need to worry about or get tensed about as you are out of danger. Delayed onset ossicle dislocation is something we do not usually see as the structures supporting it are usually sturdy and do not allow them to dislocate.

Your hearing is perfectly normal and that is why I do not think there should be anything that you need to worry about.

I hope this helps.

Thank you doctor,

So it means delayed onset of ossicle dislocation is very unusual and usually happens to people who suffered severe injuries as you mentioned. In my case, if I really hurt my ear badly, I would have had the ossicle dislocation immediately after the fall right? Just for my knowledgde, why would a delayed onset of ossicular dislocation happen due to an injury? What causes the onset to be delayed?



Welcome back to icliniq.com.

In your case, there is no possibility of developing an ossicular discontinuity as your hearing is normal and eardrum is normal.

In an entity where the eardrum perforation remains, there is something that we call cholesteatoma which can develop over time and cause destruction or discontinuity of the ossicles and in such a case the hearing is grossly impaired due to a loss in the conduction on of the sound to the inner ear structures.

This entity is completely another chapter altogether and has no relevance to fall or any connection to your case. I have just mentioned it since you wanted to know what could cause delayed onset of ossicular dislocation or discontinuity.

I hope this helps.

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