The function of the eardrum, also called the tympanic membrane, is to carry sound waves to bones that are located in the middle ear. These bones are called ossicles.
The eardrum is a small, thin membrane that is positioned between the external auditory canal and the middle ear. The eardrum is made up of three tissue layers.
As sound waves travel through the ear canal and strike the eardrum, they cause the eardrum to vibrate. This vibration causes the ossicles to move in the middle ear, and the vibration is then transmitted to the cochlea in the inner ear. A person hears sound because of this vibration. Perforated eardrums can lead to hearing loss.