The absence or closure of the external auditory meatus (ear canal).
What does atresia mean?
Atresia is a medical term that means “closure.” In the context of audiology, atresia refers to the absence or closure of the external auditory meatus, which is the canal that leads from the outside of the ear to the eardrum.
What is atresia in babies?
Atresia can occur in babies as a congenital defect, meaning that it is present at birth. Congenital atresia can be caused by a number of factors, including genetic mutations, infections during pregnancy, and exposure to certain medications or chemicals.
What causes atresia?
The causes of atresia can vary depending on the type of atresia. Congenital atresia is often caused by genetic mutations, infections during pregnancy, or exposure to certain medications or chemicals. Acquired atresia can be caused by trauma, infections, or tumors.
Where is atresia?
Atresia can occur in any part of the ear, including the external auditory canal, the middle ear, and the inner ear. However, it is most common in the external auditory canal.
Treatment for Atresia
The treatment for atresia depends on the severity of the condition and the patient’s age. In some cases, atresia may not require treatment. However, in most cases, treatment is necessary to improve hearing.
Treatment options for atresia include:
- Surgery: Surgery is the most common treatment for atresia. The goal of surgery is to create an opening in the ear canal so that sound can travel to the eardrum.
- Hearing aids: Hearing aids can be used to amplify sound in people with atresia. However, hearing aids may not be effective in people with severe atresia.
- Cochlear implants: Cochlear implants are surgically implanted devices that bypass the damaged hair cells in the inner ear and directly stimulate the auditory nerve. Cochlear implants can be an effective treatment for people with severe atresia who do not benefit from hearing aids.
If you are concerned that your child may have atresia, it is important to see an audiologist for diagnosis and treatment. Early intervention is important for improving hearing and speech development.