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What is a ruptured eardrum?

New Jersey Devils v Winnipeg Jets Photo by Darcy Finley/NHLI via Getty Images

Bryan Little has been diagnosed with a ruptured eardrum. What is that exactly? According to the Mayo Clinic it is:

A ruptured eardrum (tympanic membrane perforation) is a hole or tear in the thin tissue that separates your ear canal from your middle ear (eardrum).

A ruptured eardrum can result in hearing loss. It can also make your middle ear vulnerable to infections.

A ruptured eardrum usually heals within a few weeks without treatment. But sometimes it requires a patch or surgical repair to heal.

There you have it. Little’s injury is not nearly as serious as it could have been and should heal with some rest.

Paul Maurice also said that Little was suffering from vertigo which is a side-effect of a ruptured ear drum. What are the symptoms of vertigo?

The signs and symptoms of benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) may include:


A sense that you or your surroundings are spinning or moving (vertigo)

A loss of balance or unsteadiness



Now, it was announced that Little was kept overnight in the Neurological Unit at HSC for observation. It is likely that was tied to the vertigo which can present itself as a serious neurological issue and it is far better to be safe than sorry. The fact that Little had recently recovered from a concussion probably made the medical personnel with both the teams and the hospital want to be extra cautious. Brains are really tricky and it is always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to health especially when it comes to brains.

Seek emergency care

Although it’s uncommon for dizziness to signal a serious illness, see your doctor immediately if you experience dizziness or vertigo along with any of the following:

A new, different or severe headache

A fever

Double vision or loss of vision

Hearing loss

Trouble speaking

Leg or arm weakness

Loss of consciousness

Falling or difficulty walking

Numbness or tingling

In short, the Jets initial update showed a team and a medical team that was being cautious with a player’s health like they should be. The second update is about a player who suffered a scary incident and will be out for some time, but should make a full recovery. That is all anyone should want in any of this. Hopefully Little’s recovery goes well and we will see him on the ice in a month or two.