Recognizing the Early Signs of a Work-Related Ruptured Eardrum

A ruptured eardrum is a hole or a tear in the thin tissue that lies between the ear canal and the middle ear (the eardrum).

st. louis worker with a ruptured eardrum

Some work accidents can have rather clear cut cases; slip and falls are one such example. Someone spilled something on the floor, and you did not notice, slipped, and broke your leg. Missouri workers comp law says you can generally get benefits to take care of your injury because the accident happened at work.

However, other injuries or work accidents aren’t as clear and may create some difficulties in trying to get a claim approved, especially if you don’t even realize you’re sick in the first place. For instance, an eardrum rupture, which you may not recognize at first, but when its symptoms get worse, you’ll most likely need a lot of medical attention.

What Are the Symptoms?

A ruptured eardrum is a hole or a tear in the thin tissue that lies between the ear canal and the middle ear (the eardrum). At its worst, a ruptured eardrum can cause permanent hearing loss, though it can also make the middle ear more susceptible to infections. A ruptured eardrum can heal on its own, even without treatment, though in severe cases they may even require surgery to be repaired.

Here are some common symptoms:

  • Drainage from your ear, which can be bloody, or even clear
  • Hearing loss
  • Ear pain
  • Ringing in your ear
  • Vertigo (a spinning sensation)
  • Nausea or even vomiting

How Does This Happen?

In a workers comp claim, whenever there’s an uncommon injury like an eardrum rupture, you can expect the insurance company to take notice and investigate.

Eardrum ruptures are examples of uncommon work-related injuries, but that doesn’t mean that they cannot happen. Here are some instances where you’re more at risk of having one:

  • Direct blows to the head/ear
  • Changes in air pressure, such as when you frequently have to fly for work
  • Acoustic trauma, created by loud blasts, explosions, or other very loud noises
  • Foreign objects getting lodged into the ear

Eardrum damage seems like the kind of thing workers need to protect themselves from, but your employer may also be responsible for them. For instance, if you work in a very loud environment, and your boss did not offer appropriate protective gear, you may suffer from an eardrum rupture because of it.

You need to pay close attention to the signs of an eardrum tear and get medical attention at once. It can prevent permanent hearing loss, but it will also help the workers’ comp claim. The longer you wait, the harder it may become to prove your injury is work-related.

Speak With an Attorney

If you suspect you have a work-related eardrum tear, you should get in touch with an experienced St. Louis work injury lawyer for legal advice. These cases can be quite complex, and have a well-established procedure you should abide by. Having an experienced attorney on your side can help protect your claim right from the start. Give us a call 24/7 at (314) 361-4300 for a FREE case evaluation.

Updated: October 24, 2019