What is it?

Choanal atresia is a rare congenital narrowing of the posterior part of the nasal cavity, which causes difficulty breathing. It is more common in females, and in those who have congenital syndromes such as CHARGE, Treacher Collins asn Tessier. Choanal atresia could be bilateral- which is a life threatening condition as it blocks both nasal passages. Symptoms of bilateral choanal atresia start immediately after birth. Unilateral choanal atresia is more common and a less dangerous condition.

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Additional names

This group contains additional names:
- Atresia of nares

Signs & symptoms

Symptoms of choanal atresia may include noisy breathing, cyclic respiratory distress relieved when crying, feeding difficulties, discharge, and mouth breathing.


Diagnosis is done with imaging of the nasal cavities such as CT or an endoscopy.


Treatment for severe cases is with surgery and it must be as soon as possible. Mild cases can be managed with observation, and occasionally supplement oxygen. They can also be given nasal saline to keep the nasal linings healthy. Sometimes, they also undergo surgery in older ages.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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