How Aural Atresia and Anotia Affect Speech Development in Children By Dr. John Reinisch on October 25, 2023

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If you’re looking for a medical specialist who can treat microtia, aural atresia, and anotia, you can count on Dr. John Reinisch and his team in Beverly Hills, CA. As the world’s most experienced microtia surgeon, he’s helped many children across the globe thanks to his compassionate approach and surgical skill.

We often focus on the cosmetic aspects of microtia treatment, yet there are also crucial psychological and development benefits to getting the condition treated. We want to examine the conditions known as aural atresia and anotia, specifically how they can affect speech development in young children.

Understanding Aural Atresia and Anotia

Aural atresia and anotia are two distinct conditions. Let’s define each individually.

What Is Aural Atresia?

Aural atresia often accompanies microtia. It refers to the slight narrowing of the ear canal or the total absence of the ear canal. Aural atresia typically happens in just one ear rather than both ears and causes hearing impairment.

What Is Anotia?

Anotia is essentially a synonym for Grade 4 microtia. This means that a patient lacks an external ear as well as an ear canal. Anotia typically happens in just one ear instead of both ears and causes hearing impairment.

Why Speech Development Is Affected

When a child lacks one or both ear canals, they are unable to hear words clearly. This is because sound waves are not able to enter the ear, vibrate the eardrum and hearing bones, and have those auditory signals properly transmitted to the brain.

The lack of hearing impedes the ability to discern the exact sound being made by a speaker as well as the ability to mimic that sound.

Even when just one ear is affected, children may struggle to develop a proper facility and understanding of spoken language. This can lead to problems at home as well as school.

The potential for educational setbacks as well as the psychological effects of microtia and its related conditions are compelling reasons to seek professional medical treatment.

Treating Aural Atresia and Anotia

When treating aural atresia and anotia, the best option is the creation of an ear canal. Ear canal reconstruction will often involve widening the ear canal or creating an ear canal if there isn’t one present. The bones of the inner ear may also get repositioned if necessary depending on the needs of the child.

Reconstruction of the ear canal will often be paired with surgical reconstruction of the external ear for cosmetic purposes.

Early Diagnosis and Treatment Is Ideal

When it comes to conditions like microtia, aural atresia, and anotia, it’s best to have your child meet with a specialist as soon as possible. Ear canal reconstruction at a young age can help address hearing impairments as well as issues with speech acquisition and development.

We encourage you to get in touch with our office in Beverly Hills. We can provide the answers and guidance you’ve been looking for.

Discuss Ear Canal Reconstruction Options

Help and compassion are here. We look forward to meeting you and your child and presenting ways forward for a happy and fulfilling life ahead. To set up an appointment, contact our microtia treatment office in Beverly Hills today.

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Dr. John Reinisch, MD

Reinisch Plastic Surgery

  • Exceptionally well-qualified
  • Graduate of Harvard Medical School
  • Board-certification in plastic surgery 
  • Created the MEDPOR® technique in 1991
  • Has successfully treated over 20,000 children 

Patients come from across the country and around the world to benefit from his expert care. To schedule your consultation, contact our office online or call us at (833) 896-3277

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