Ruptured ear drums can cause severe pain initially, however, the pain may quickly subside after the rupture. The most common cause of a ruptured ear drum is barotrauma due to auditory tube dysfunction and atmospheric pressure changes. However, a ruptured ear drum can also be caused by extremely loud noises or trauma when foreign objects such as bobby pins or Q-tips are inserted into the ear. Besides pain that may last only a short period of time, other symptoms of a ruptured eardrum include sudden hearing loss , dizziness, and drainage from the ear which may be bloody.
Young children have narrow Eustachian tubes. When they get a cold and all their membranes become swollen, the Eustachian tube lining becomes swollen and so the tube becomes even narrower. As well as that, the Eustachion tube is relatively horizontal in young children so gravity cannot help in clearing the fluid. So, it is harder for young children to clear middle ear fluid because they have narrow, horizontal tubes. As they get older, the Eustachion tubes become wider and less horizontal and draining fluid from the middle ear is easier, so they are less prone to ear infections.