Ear, Nose & Throat - Otolaryngology

ear, nose & throat - otolaryngology

Aural Atresia and Microtia

What is aural atresia and microtia?

Severe deformity of the external ear (microtia) with absence of an ear canal and tympanic membrane (aural atresia) occurs in 1 in 10,000 to 20,000 births. Aural atresia/microtia is usually an isolated condition, but can be associated with a number of other craniofacial anomalies such as Treacher Collins syndrome or hemifacial microsomia. Although auditory nerve function is typically normal, there is a severe loss of hearing secondary to the absence of a sound-conduction pathway to the cochlea. In addition to the hearing loss, the psychological implications of a severe cosmetic ear deformity in a young child can be significant.

Pediatric patients with microtia and/or atresia are typically seen by otolaryngologists within the first few weeks of life. Proper use of hearing aids in a timely fashion is especially important when bilateral atresia or underlying sensorineural hearing loss is present. Surgical treatment of microtia/atresia is typically begun between five and seven years of age.



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