Eardrums can tear or rupture as the result of direct trauma from a foreign body (a twig, cotton-tip applicator, etc.), sudden pressure changes, or, most commonly, as a secondary complication due to otitis externa.
Although a serious and painful condition, a torn eardrum will heal quite quickly provided the underlying cause of the perforation is eliminated.
Medications designed for use in the ears must be used with caution if a cat suffers from a ruptured eardrum.
Not only can their application be painful, but also, as mentioned previously, certain antibiotics and solutions, if allowed direct access into the middle- and inner-ear chambers, can cause damage to the auditory nerve endings, resulting in deafness.
As a result, be certain to follow a veterinarian’s recommendations closely.