Can My Child Have Normal Hearing with Microtia?
When discussing microtia, many people immediately think about surgical reconstruction of the external ear. However, treating microtia also means improving a child’s hearing. Doing so will help improve a child’s speech and language skills in addition to generally improving their quality of life.
Dr. John Reinisch has helped many families at his microtia treatment center in Beverly Hills, CA. He’s fielded a number of questions from concerned parents related to hearing and hearing loss associated with microtia. Let’s discuss if a child with microtia can experience normal hearing again.
Is a Child With Microtia Considered Deaf?
For many patients with microtia, the answer is no. In fact, some patients with microtia will experience normal hearing rather than partial hearing loss.
Microtia is a condition that affects the development of the external ear while a child is in the womb. While a child may lack or have partial development of the external ear and ear canal, the inner ear will typically still be fully developed.
Conductive Hearing Loss vs. Sensorineural Hearing Loss
It’s important to consider the difference between conductive hearing loss and sensorineural hearing loss.
Conductive hearing loss refers to the inability for sounds to get through the structures of the outer and middle ear.
Sensorineural hearing loss refers to problems with the inner ear or the nerve that connects the ear to the brain.
Hearing Depends on the Type of Microtia
The degree of a patient’s hearing loss will depend on the type of microtia the patient has.
A patient with grade 1 microtia could have a narrow ear canal present, resulting in less hearing loss than a patient with grade 4 microtia, in which the ear canal is absent.
Treatments for Hearing Loss Related to Microtia
During a visit to our surgical treatment center here in Beverly Hills, we can check your child’s condition and determine an ideal method for treatment.
If your child has an underdeveloped or narrow ear canal (aural atresia), we have different methods of aural atresia repair available. The process of ear canal reconstruction (canaloplasty) can help improve the appearance and function of the ear canal.
Treatments for the Appearance of the Ear
In addition to addressing issues that affect the ear canal, we also have different methods to create a natural-looking external ear. This includes the innovative innovative MEDPOR® ear reconstruction method and more traditional method of ear reconstruction using rib cartilage.
We’re Ready to Help the Entire Family
If your child has microtia, rest assured that there are plenty of treatments available. Modern surgical techniques have allowed us to address the aesthetics of the ears as well as the structure of the ear canal.
No matter what grade of microtia your child has, we can develop a custom treatment plan to help them.
We can also provide parents with the resources and information to talk to their children about their condition in a reassuring and loving way.
Contact Our Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Practice
If you’re ready to discuss potential treatment options for microtia and aural atresia, Dr. John Reinisch is here for you. To set up a consultation to discuss your child’s condition, contact our office in Beverly Hills. We thank you and your family in advance for sharing your story with us.