The difficulty to estimate the mechanical properties of the tympanic membrane (TM) is a limitation to understand the sound transmission mechanism. In this paper, based on finite element calculations, the sensitivity of the human hearing system to these properties is evaluated. The parameters that define the bending stiffness properties of the membrane have been studied, specifically two key parameters: Young's modulus of the tympanic membrane and the thickness of the eardrum. Additionally, it has been completed with the evaluation of the presence of an initial prestrain inside the TM. Modal analysis is used to study the qualitative characteristics of the TM comparing with vibration patterns obtained by holography. Higher-order modes are shown as a tool to identify these properties. The results show that different combinations of elastic properties and prestrain provide similar responses. The presence of prestrain at the membrane adds more uncertainty, and it is pointed out as a source for the lack of agreement of some previous TM elastic modulus estimations.