|MadSci Network: Medicine|
John- Good question, and the major problem that can occur with a punctured ear drum in a swimmer not using earplugs is infection. This can occur with the water exposure, but also with the diving or changes in pressure when we turn in the water etc...that may "jet" the water into the ear. People can also have problems with hearing later on whether from the infection, scar tissue, or if the perforation doesn't heal. So be kind to your ears and if you do have a perforated ear drum, protect it!
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