Dr. Stephanie Moody-Antonio, an Otolaryngology specialist practicing in Norfolk, VA brings us this week’s Ear Pic of the Week. The diagnosis: Atelectatic Tympanic Membrane. We asked Dr. Moody-Antonio a few questions to help us learn more about this condition.
Q: What is an atelectatic tympanic membrane?
Dr. Moody-Antonio: It’s a thin eardrum, usually as a result of chronic negative middle ear pressure.
(CellScope: Negative middle ear pressure is caused by a blocked Eustachian tube and absorption of air from the middle ear space.)
Q: What causes this condition?
Dr. Moody-Antonio: Eustachian tube dysfunction.
Q: What are the symptoms?
Dr. Moody-Antonio: Usually asymptomatic, but over time may contribute to erosion of the incus (as can be seen in the picture), hearing loss, & development of cholesteatoma.
Q: How is it treated?
Dr. Moody-Antonio: It can be treated with observation, myringotomy and tube, cartilage graft tympanoplasty, or other surgical techniques.
Q: CellScope: Does it affect hearing?
Dr. Moody-Antonio: Yes, if it results in erosion of the incus.
Thanks again, Dr. Moody-Antonio for sharing these great images and for teaching us about atelectatic tympanic membrane!