A young woman suffered a ruptured eardrum while sharing a moment of passion with her boyfriend, who, while kissing her ear, accidentally created too much suction pressure in China.
Chinese media recently reported the bizarre case of a young woman from Huizhou City, Guangdong Province, who came to the ENT Department of Huizhou First People’s Hospital because she experienced mild pain and hearing loss in her left ear. Upon examining the patient, the doctor on duty found dried blood on her eardrum and a closer inspection revealed that she had suffered a traumatic eardrum perforation. The woman’s medical history didn’t mention any sort of physical trauma at ear level, but when asked if she could recall anything that might have caused the eardrum perforation, she just said that her boyfriend accidentally sucked on her ear canal during a moment of passion…
“When he kissed my ear, he sucked it hard and it made a ‘pop’ sound. After that, I couldn’t hear in my left ear. I was shocked,” the woman, referred to only as Xiaohua, told the ENT doctor, adding that all she could hear was a constant buzzing accompanied by mild pain.
“There was a spot of blood near her wound, which was unusual. According to the medical history, she had suffered no trauma, impact or beating. She just mentioned that her boyfriend used too much force during the kiss, and she felt pain at that time,” Fu Jia, deputy director of otolaryngology head and neck surgery at Huizhou First People’s Hospital, told Hui Video.
The doctor explained that eardrums are prone to ruptures when the external atmospheric pressure changes suddenly, such as in the case of explosions and extremely loud noises. Theoretically mouth-applied suction qualifies as well, although eardrums ruptured during romantic kissing is definitely very uncommon.
“Usually, the eardrum heals by itself within two weeks to three months,” Fu Jia said. “If the eardrum has not healed in three months, external intervention may be required. If it is not repaired and the perforation remains, water can get through while bathing or swimming and may cause problems such as otitis, which can in turn cause hearing problems.”
Although Xiohua’s case was presented as a cautionary tale, it mostly inspired humorous comments on social media, such as people describing the boyfriend’s love as “defeating” and asking if the ruptured eardrum counts as “emotional injury”.