Deafness/Hearing Impairment/Eardrum scar


I would like to understand exactly what a "scar" on the eardrum really is. All I know is that otitis can leave a scar on the eardrum but otitis is an inflammation. Scars are left by wounds not inflammation so how can otitis without eardrum perforation cause a scar?
And another thing I cannot understand is scars go away, fade somewhat in time. I have found no reference that one on the eardrum may fade. How can it be?
I just don't understand, it is called a "scar" but it works differently from a scar anywhere else on the body?


I scar on the eardrum is typically formed when the eardrum has recovered from a tear or hole, much like our skin.  The eardrum has 3 layers and the scar may form from the tear of one layer or all three layers.  Otitis can cause a tear in one layer but not a perforation in the eardrum, leaving a scar without a previous hole.  
The eardrum scar is usually visible when the doctor looks in your ear with an otoscope.  It doesn't cause any problems with your hearing, just like a scar on your hand doesn't disrupt the way your hand functions.  It is just a mark that can be seen on the eardrum.
Yes, the eardrum scar works a little differently than scar's on the rest of the body but the middle ear is a different type of tissue than the rest of our skin.

Thank you for your question.
Kelley Linton, AuD
Doctor of Audiology  

Deafness/Hearing Impairment

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Dr. Kelley Linton


I'm an audiologist in private practice in Arkansas. I graduated from the University of Florida medical school. I specialize in hearing loss; hearing rehabilitation; hearing aids; noise induced hearing loss; occupational noise exposure; OSHA guidelines and regulations; hearing protection; tinnitis; newborn hearing testing; children and hearing loss and diagnosis and etiology of hearing loss.


I've been a practicing audiologist for 20 years and have owned a private practice for 14 years. I am also an audiologist in the United States Army where I teach DOD hearing conservation regulations and manage 3000 DOD employees at an army industrial facility.

Arkansas Academy of Audiology American Academy of Audiology Academy of Doctors of Audiology American Speech and Hearing Association National Hearing Conservation Association

Journal of the Academy of Audiology Southwest Times Record, Fort Smith, Arkansas Press Argus Courier, Van Buren, Arkansas

Au.D. - Doctor of Audiology, University of Florida American Academy of Audiology fellow member Audiology Board Certification American Speech and Hearing Association certification Arkansas State Audiology license-current CPT United States Army Medical Corps

Awards and Honors
American Speech and Hearing Association "ACE" award x 7 years United States Army Accommodation Award Arkansas Academy of Audiology elected board of director x 3 years Better community award, Fort Smith, AR for volunteer audiology service to free community health clinic

Past/Present Clients
Serving newborn to geriatric ages.....unable to provide specific names.

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