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Perforated tympanic membrane

Mike Preece michael at preece.net
Fri Sep 12 03:47:30 EST 2003



I hope someone can offer some me some advice.

I had a prolonged case of otitis externa late last year. This was
treated by my GP for several weeks by various drops - none of which
proved effective. Eventually a swab was taken and I was referred to
the ENT department at my local hospital. The swab showed a fungal

After a brief examination microsuction was performed. The doctor
performing the microsuction was obviously doing it for the first time
- under instruction from a colleague. During the microsuction he
exclaimed "Hey! That was a big bit!".

Afterwards I was given a prescription for Canesten (Clotrimazole?)
drops - which I had used several times previously. On returning to my
office I applied the drops. The pain this caused to my right ear was
excruciating. I have never experienced pain like it - even though I
had, as I said, used the same drops on many previous occasion without
any discomfort what so ever. The same drops caused no discomfort to my
left ear. I have been searching the net looking for something to back
up what I now know - that Canesten drops are definitely innapropriate
for perforated eardums - but haven't managed to turn anything up

Also, I began to notice that the my hearing had improved in my left
ear since the microsuction had removed the debris but that my hearing
in my right ear appeared to be no better.

When I went back for the follow-up consultation I suggested that I
believed my right ear-drum had been perforated during the
microsuction. It was obvious to me by this time that this was the
case, as when I blew my nose I was also now blowing my ear, and I had
experienced for the first time that horrible feeling of water entering
my middle ear while washing my hair.

More microsuction was performed in order to provide an unobructed view
of the ear drum but, as I was obviously not comfortable, this was not
persevered with, and a pope wick was inserted instead. I was given an
appointment to return to see a senior registrar.

When my ear was again examined the rupture of my ear drum was
confirmed. No discharge was evident from my middle ear.

Being unhappy with the treatment I received I registered a complaint.
It has now been almost nine months since my ear drum was perforated
and more than seven since I registered the complaint. The person with
whom I am corresponding regarding my complaint seems to be
unresponsive and unhelpful.

Where do I go from here?


PS. I have recently had a middle-ear infection in the damaged ear and
was mistakenly prescribed some VoSol drops. These caused exactly the
same painful experience as the Canesten drops had - although they are
just fine in my undamaged left ear.

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