It’s a known fact that up to 5% of every population around the world has issues with protruding ears. A child is either born with the condition or it is inherited through genetics and even though it doesn’t interfere with hearing, it can affect a person’s self-confidence throughout their life.
Your ears are the first organ to reach their full size during childhood, which is this issue it quite common amongst children.
Protruding ears can either be bilateral or unilateral, with cartilage defects being the underlying issue in most cases.
Protruding, or bat ears, can be corrected within six months of a child being born because the cartilage is still soft. Thereafter, the ear will need to be remoulded with surgery.
The main causes of protruding ears
There are several reasons why a child or adult could end up with protruding ears.
- Children with Down’s syndrome are more prone to floppy or protruding ears
- A developmental defect can also be the cause of this issue but if it’s not inherited, the folds will eventually be corrected on their own as the child grows
- In other cases, protruding ears are inherited from another family member
- How a child is positioned while being breastfed can also affect their ears, which is why mothers should take extra care when breastfeeding by ensuring the ear is kept flat against the child’s head
- At ear pinning surgery clinic, Dr Zurek in Sydney, many patients who suffered a trauma such as a car accident or as a result of contact sport, are treated for protruding ears
- Disorders like Bell’s palsy can also cause this issue because the facial nerves become paralysed. Since Bell’s palsy only affects one side of the face, the defect will be unilateral
- Finally, protruding ears can become more prominent with age because the ear and nose cartilage continues to grow as we grow older, which is why you will very often see adults over 60 that have protruding ears
Can protruding ears be fixed without surgery?
Where otoplasty surgery was once the only way to correct protruding ears, there is now also a no-incision procedure that can be used. Children who are younger than six months can still have their ear cartilage manipulated without surgery. For everyone else, there is no-incision otoplasty.
This non-invasive procedure only requires local anaesthetic and uses non-absorbable sutures to reposition and reshape the ears. Because incisions are not required, patients don’t need to worry about scarring or a high risk of infection.
After the procedure, patients will need to wear a basic headband when sleeping for two weeks in order to protect the ears while they are healing. Most patients can return to work and school in a day or two after their surgery and can resume any exercise routines after a week.
If you have any questions about this innovative procedure, speak to a qualified cosmetic surgeon in your area that specialises in non-surgical otoplasty procedures.