If you have a child who appears to have abnormally large ears, then they likely have an abnormality called protruding ears. While the condition is not life-threatening, it can be problematic for children. If you want to learn more about the problem and how it can be treated, keep reading.
What Are Protruding Ears?
Protruding or prominent ears are a type of formation that makes the ears look like they are sticking out of the head. In most cases, ears that stick out a few centimeters or more are considered abnormal. Protruding ears are typically caused by the poor formation of the antihelical fold. This part of the ear creates the round edge of the ear that curves down and meets your lobe. This part of the ear usually has a deep indentation that helps to pull the ear ridge back close to the head. When the ridge is flat, then this makes the ear stick out. The problem also may be noted if the concha is wider or larger than normal. This is the round part of the ear that sits around the outside of the ear canal.
Protruding ears may occur due to heredity or they may be a result of a birth defect. The problem does not cause hearing problems, but most children do not like the appearance of ears that stick out.
How Are The Ears Treated?
If your child has large ears that they do not like, then you can work with a physician to change their appearance. Nonsurgical methods will often be used first to figure out if the shape of the ears can be changed naturally. A treatment called ear molding will be used to splint and place pressure on the ears so they move closer to the head. This works well for children who are young and have ears that are still soft. Once the cartilage starts to firm up and lose its malleability, molding techniques are not likely to work.
If molding is not successful or if your child is a bit older, then surgery can be used to change the appearance of the ears. The type of surgery is called otoplasty. While incisions may be made to reshape and reposition the ears, some plastic surgeons can use incision-free surgical techniques. This may mean that your child can undergo pediatric plastic surgery without the need for a general anesthetic. This can reduce surgical risks, complications, and the amount of time your child needs to recover. This is a often a good solution if parents and children are not prepared for a fully invasive plastic surgery.Share
30 January 2017
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