The external ear is designed to amplify sound. Hearing problems can be associated with many different abnormalities of the external ear.

A full discussion of hearing problems is beyond the scope of this website. If you are concerned that your child is not hearing properly, you should contact your family doctor or a Paediatric Otologist. A hearing test may be required.

If there is canal atresia (no ear canal) it is important to maintain the hearing in the unaffected ear. Many children will have no problems with just one ear but it is known that deafness, even in one ear, can affect a child’s school performance. A speaker system fitted in the classroom will help. In some cases a bone anchored hearing aid  (BAHA) will help transmit sound through the bone to the inner ear. A small titanium plug is inserted into the bone behind the ear and a hearing aid clips to the plug. New devices such as the Soundbridge and Bonebridge are under development.  In some cases of canal atresia it may be possible to reconstruct the canal and drum. This type of surgery is performed by a Paediatric Otologist and will be timed around construction of the external ear.