tympanic membrane

tympanic membrane
Anat., Zool.
eardrum. See diag. under ear.

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also called eardrum, 
 membrane in the human ear that receives sound vibrations from the outer air and transmits them to the auditory ossicles, which are tiny bones in the tympanic (middle ear) cavity. It also serves as the lateral wall of the tympanic cavity, separating it from the external auditory canal. The membrane lies across the end of the external canal and looks like a flattened cone with its tip (apex) pointed inward. The edges are attached to a ring of bone, the tympanic annulus.

 Accurate diagnosis of middle-ear diseases is dependent on the appearance and mobility of the tympanic membrane, which is normally pearl gray but is sometimes tinged with pink or yellow. The drum membrane has three layers: the outer layer, continuous with the skin on the external canal; the inner layer, continuous with the mucous membrane lining the middle ear; and, between the two, a layer of radial and circular fibres that gives the membrane its tension and stiffness. The membrane is well-supplied with blood vessels, and its sensory nerve fibres make it extremely sensitive to pain.

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Universalium. 2010.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Tympanic membrane — Tympanic Tym*pan ic (?; 277), a. [See {Tympanum}.] 1. Like a tympanum or drum; acting like a drumhead; as, a tympanic membrane. [1913 Webster] 2. (Anat.) Of or pertaining to the tympanum. [1913 Webster] {Tympanic bone} (Anat.), a bone of the… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • tympanic membrane — n. a thin membrane that separates the middle ear from the external ear and vibrates when struck by sound waves; eardrum …   English World dictionary

  • Tympanic membrane — Just the ear drum. * * * tympanic membrane n a thin membrane separating the middle ear from the inner part of the external auditory canal that vibrates in response to sound energy and transmits the resulting mechanical vibrations to the… …   Medical dictionary

  • tympanic membrane atelectasis — a complication of chronic serous otitis media in which the middle ear contains a viscous fluid and the tympanic membrane has become thin, atrophic, retracted, and adherent to middle ear structures; there is usually conductive hearing loss. Called …   Medical dictionary

  • tympanic membrane — eardrum the membrane at the inner end of the external auditory meatus, separating the outer and middle ears. It is formed from the outer wall of the lining of the tympanic cavity and the skin that lines the external auditory meatus. When sound… …   The new mediacal dictionary

  • tympanic membrane — noun the membrane in the ear that vibrates to sound • Syn: ↑eardrum, ↑tympanum, ↑myringa • Hypernyms: ↑membrane, ↑tissue layer • Hyponyms: ↑perforated eardrum …   Useful english dictionary

  • tympanic membrane — noun Date: 1855 a thin membrane that closes externally the cavity of the middle ear and functions in the mechanical reception of sound waves and in their transmission to the site of sensory reception called also eardrum see ear illustration …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • tympanic membrane — ear drum, membrane in the ear that vibrates in reaction to sound …   English contemporary dictionary

  • tympanic membrane — /tɪmˌpænɪk ˈmɛmbreɪn/ (say tim.panik membrayn) noun a membrane separating the tympanum or middle ear from the passage of the external ear; the eardrum …  

  • tympanic membrane — noun eardrum …   Wiktionary

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