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Perforated Eardrum

Perforated Eardrum Overview

The eardrum (tympanic membrane) is a thin, oval layer of tissue deep in the ear canal. It helps protect the delicate middle and inner ear from the outside.

It is called an eardrum because it looks and acts like a drum. The eardrum receives vibrations from the outer ear and transmits them to the small hearing bones (ossicles), of the middle ear.

Because it is so thin, the eardrum can be ruptured or punctured. The hole exposes the middle and inner ear to damage or infection.

Picture of the inner and outer structures of the ear
Picture of the inner and outer structures of the ear
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/30/2014

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Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Middle Ear, Tympanic Membrane, Perforations »

Tympanic membrane perforation (TMP) is a condition as old as the human species.

Read More on Medscape Reference »


Medical Dictionary