Perforated eardrum

A few months ago I got an ear infection which has left me with a 90% perforation in my right ear. I am going in for an operation to see if I can have a new one grafted on. The success rate is very slim I have been informed. I can get no info in relation to diving with this and am wondering if you can help me as it is very dear to me. Are there any ways around diving with no eardrum and what happens if you do? I have met a few people who know of instructors working with no eardrum can you expand on this? Are there any doctors in europe who have had success eith this size drum, perhaps with some new technology? I would appreciate it if you could help.

There are problems in diving with a perforated ear drum and it is usually a contraindication if discovered during the first medical of a novice diver. However it is common for experienced divers to dive relatively trouble free with a large perforation if surgery is not possible or unsuccessful. the main problems you would encounter would be a transient vertigo (dizziness) due to caloric stimulation of the inner ear organs and the increased risk of middle ear infections.

The first problem is self limiting as once the water which enters the ear warms up the dizziness goes away and this would occur when hitting the water. It is advisable always to wear a hood to reduce repeated entry of cold water into the ear.

Inner ear infections are more likely with a perforation especially in possible contaminated waters, again a hood should help and the use of an appropriate barrier ear preparation. I hope your operation is successful and the above will only be of academic interest.