The 3 Most Common Ear Malformations

most common ear malformations

Ear malformations can range in severity. From cosmetic to hearing complications, there are many different malformations you can have. Here are the 3 most common ear malformations.

1. Prominent Ears

Protruding, or prominent ears, is one of the most common ear malformations. Children born with this have ears that stick out from their head. It doesn’t necessarily mean the ears themselves are big. They are prominent if they stick more at least 2 cm from the head.

2. Microtia

Next, another common ear malformation, microtia is a little different from prominent ears. Rather than ears sticking out from the side of the head, people born with microtia have outer ears that are small or not formed properly at all.

3. Stahl’s Ear

Stahl’s Ear is another malformation. It is notable because of the pointy shape and extra cartilage fold. Stahl’s Ear is referred to as Spock’s ear after the Star Trek character.

The Basics About Ear Malformations and Treatment

Up to 45% of children born have a type of ear deformity. Abnormal positioning or delivery can cause a temporary deformity. Most of the time this resolves itself as the child grows. The ear will unfold and look normal on its own.

Other ear malformations need corrective treatment. Sometimes it is surgical, but sometimes nonsurgical means could be available. It all depends on the type of ear malformation.

One type of treatment is cosmetic ear surgery, or otoplasty. If the ear malformation is external, this type of procedure can change the way it looks. The size, shape, or position are correctible through otoplasty. Prominent ears are normally a candidate for this type of treatment.

Otherwise, corrective ear molds are an alternative. Typically used for newborns with cosmetic malformations, like protruding or Stahl’s ears, they are administered early on. Since these types of malformations can be seen at birth, a doctor would be able to recommend one right away.

Final Thoughts

If you or your child have one of the most common ear malformations, there are treatment options are available. Especially if they are cosmetic in nature. Talk to your doctor about which treatment you are a candidate for.