Protruding ears, the reasons

Ears are one of the features of the face that can be a source of discomfort, especially when they are protruding.

We know that protruding ears often occur in early childhood, particularly during the first few months of life. But why do ears become deformed? We are telling you all about the reasons for protruding ears.

Why do ears become deformed?

Most ear deformities are congenital (present from birth). The main causes of protruding ears are :

 An underdeveloped antihelical fold. The outside of the ear is shaped like the letter C. Inside the C, you can see what the letter Y looks like. The lower part of the Y is the antihelix.

Too much cartilage in the concha. The concha is the bowl-shaped part of the ear that holds your ear away from your head.

 A combination. Excess concha and loss of the antihelical fold contribute to ear deformity.

Other reasons for protruding ears include poor sleeping position. When baby sleeps on his side, his ear may be folded. If this happens every time baby sleeps, one or both ears may stick out.

Treating protruding ears?

If protruding ears are diagnosed before the age of three months, ear moulds can be bonded to the baby’s ears. These moulds, when applied early enough, will reshape the baby’s ears without surgery. This treatment usually takes about six to eight weeks and requires three to four visits.

For older babies, toddlers, children and adults who want to do away with protruding ears, the only option is surgery. This is called otoplasty.

Most doctors will wait until a child is at least five years old before performing otoplasty, as the cartilage in the ear is soft before this age.

Often, otoplasty is scheduled before the child is seven. This is the age when teasing about appearance seems to increase significantly.

After otoplasty, a bulky dressing is used to aid healing and for protection and comfort. This dressing is usually removed in a week or less, while swelling usually lasts one to two weeks.

Preventing protruding ears in babies

The cartilage in babies’ ears is very supple in the first few months after birth. It is therefore entirely possible to prevent protruding ears in babies. Using Baby’s Bonnette® allows your baby’s ears to be gently held and thus,  prevent them from sticking out.

This is effective not only for preventing this malformation when baby sleeps on his side, but also for congenital causes.

In conclusion

Protruding ears can be the subject of teasing, particularly from children. This teasing can have a damaging effect on self-esteem.

Surgery is not always necessary. As we have just seen, it is entirely possible to prevent protruding ears.

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