Types of ear trauma include damage done to the outer, middle and inner ear. Ear trauma can result from listening to loud music, being hit in the ear, or from sticking anything into the ear canal. Trauma can also occur if the middle ear gets infected. The damage to the ear from trauma include hearing loss, which can be permanent or temporary.
A ruptured or burst eardrum is one kind of ear trauma that can result from inserting a cotton swab or other object into the ear canal. Hitting the ear with a lot of force or over and over again can also cause the eardrum to break. Should the eardrum rupture, it usually is able to repair itself within a few weeks. A person should still see a doctor if he suffers a severe blow to the ear or sticks an object too far into his ear canal, as there may be other damage to the inner ear.
For instance, the bones in the inner ear, called ossicles, can break or be otherwise damaged if a person is hit too hard. An ear infection can also cause damage to the ossicles. Should the bones of the ear be damaged beyond their ability to naturally repair themselves, a person may have to undergo surgery to replace one or all three of the ossicles with artificial ones.