Metallic foreign body adjacent to the round window: A rare cause for chronic tympanic membrane perforation with hearing loss

Samuel Robert Leedman, Jafri Kuthubutheen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Welding injuries to the tympanic membrane (TM) or middle ear are rare but can cause significant damage. These injuries occur when a hot spark or molten slag drops directly into the external auditory canal and through the action of gravity (because the ear is upright during such an injury), then risks burning through the TM. This can lead to a multitude of adverse consequences including chronic TM perforation, secondary purulent otorrhoea, facial palsy, taste disturbance, vertigo and hearing loss. We present the case of a welding injury to the right TM, resulting in a chronic perforation and hearing loss. The patient required surgical intervention for removal of the metallic foreign body and repair of the TM. The patient obtained a good surgical result with no sensorineural hearing loss. This is a preventable occupational injury, which can be avoided by use of ear protection and increased awareness of this potential risk.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere240106
JournalBMJ Case Reports
Volume14
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 20 May 2021

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