Tympanosclerosis is a condition of scarring of the ear drum. The ear drum, medically referred to as the tympanic membrane, is the thin lining present in the middle portion of the ear which is expanded tightly and vibrates when sound waves come in contact with the tissues. These signals are then relayed to the brain via the inner ear, to enable clear hearing.

In tympanosclerosis, the damage to the ear drum structures occurs either due to injury or surgery. This invariably affects auditory functions of the ears and leads to hearing loss. It also presents a whitish appearance of the ear drum owing to hardened calcium deposits on the ear drum/tympanic membrane.
Man suffering from tympanosclerosis

Causes Of Tympanosclerosis:

Various disorders lead to tympanosclerosis, with chronic inflammation in the middle ear, such as:

  • Conditions wherein fluid deposits accumulate in the ears, such as otitis media, adhesive otitis/glue ear
  • Severe middle ear infections
  • Ruptured ear drum
  • Surgery or invasive diagnostic procedures performed in the ears
  • Cholesteatoma, wherein keratinized clusters of dead cells form in the middle ear

Also Read: Glue Ear/Adhesive Otitis: Causes, Symptoms And Treatment

These ear-related disorders give rise to semi-solid masses accumulating in the middle ear, which makes the thin, flexible, transparent tympanic membrane very thick, rigid and opaque. This, in turn, affects hearing and obstructs normal auditory functions of the ears.


The typical symptoms associated with tympanosclerosis are hearing loss and a chalky white appearance of the ear drum.

In some cases, ear pain may also arise due to hardened calcified deposits blocking the tympanic membrane and hampering the ear muscles, bones and other internal structures.

Also Read: Ear Pain: Know The Various Causes Of Discomfort In The Hearing Organs


The doctor records the medical history of the patient to note if any injuries to the ear have occurred recently or any surgery has been performed in the hearing organs.

The healthcare provider then examines the internal structures of the ears using an otoscope – an apparatus that is inserted into the ears to view the inner regions with enhanced clarity and detail. In case any white deposits or hardened regions are identified, then the doctor confirms the diagnosis of tympanosclerosis. Following this, a hearing test/audiometry test is conducted to measure the extent of hearing loss as well.


Treatment for tympanosclerosis is primarily surgery. When large amounts of calcium deposits are present in the ears which impairs hearing abilities considerably, then the doctor performs surgery to repair the ear drum. This helps restore optimal hearing and tympanic membrane, middle ear tissues in the patient.