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, or tympanic membrane
, is a thin membrane
A biological membrane or biomembrane is an enclosing or separatingmembrane that acts as a selective barrier, within or around a cell. It consists of a lipid bilayer with embedded proteins that may constitute close to 50% of membrane content...
that separates the external ear from the middle ear
The middle ear is the portion of the ear internal to the eardrum, and external to the oval window of the cochlea. The mammalian middle ear contains three ossicles, which couple vibration of the eardrum into waves in the fluid and membranes of the inner ear. The hollow space of the middle ear has...
in humans and other tetrapods. Its function is to transmit sound
Sound is a mechanical wave that is an oscillation of pressure transmitted through a solid, liquid, or gas, composed of frequencies within the range of hearing and of a level sufficiently strong to be heard, or the sensation stimulated in organs of hearing by such vibrations.-Propagation of...
from the air to the ossicles
The ossicles are the three smallest bones in the human body. They are contained within the middle ear space and serve to transmit sounds from the air to the fluid-filled labyrinth . The absence of the auditory ossicles would constitute a moderate-to-severe hearing loss...
inside the middle ear. The malleus
The malleus or hammer is a hammer-shaped small bone or ossicle of the middle ear which connects with the incus and is attached to the inner surface of the eardrum...
bone bridges the gap between the eardrum and the other ossicles. Rupture or perforation of the eardrum can lead to conductive hearing loss
Conductive hearing loss occurs when there is a problem conducting sound waves anywhere along the route through the outer ear, tympanic membrane , or middle ear ....
The Bajau or Bajaw , also spelled Bajao, Badjau, Badjaw, or Badjao, are an indigenous ethnic group of Maritime Southeast Asia...
people of the Pacific intentionally rupture their eardrums at an early age in order to facilitate diving and hunting at sea. Many older Bajau are therefore hard of hearing.