A malformed outer ear is the most common indicator of aural atresia. All atretic ears have abnormal middle-ear anatomy to a greater or lesser degree.
It is important that infants with atresia undergo a complete audiologic evaluation, including an auditory brainstem evoked-response test. A moderate conductive hearing loss is often present in an atretic ear and can affect a child’s understanding of spoken language at normal conversational levels. A hearing loss may also be present in the child’s normal-appearing ear. A CT scan is used to determine if surgery would result in improved hearing.
Surgical reconstruction at our Orange County treatment center can be very effective for improving hearing in the affected ear.
Bone-anchored hearing aids (BAHA) are surgically implantable device for the treatment of hearing loss that works through direct bone conduction. The system works by utilizing natural bone transmission as a pathway for sound to travel to the inner ear, bypassing the external auditory canal and middle ear. BAHA can be an effective way to restore hearing in children born with aural atresia or chronic ear conditions. Also, it can be used in patients with single sided deafness in order to take sound from the deaf ear and transmit it to the good ear. It is implanted in a single surgery in adults and in two separate procedures in children.