As a new parent, you spend the first several weeks after your child’s birth checking all over their body. You cannot get enough of the cute fingers, toes, ears, and other parts of their body. As you go through your baby’s body, you may realize that some parts are not what you had in mind. The ears are among the body parts that you may notice they do not look as expected. You may notice that the ears have an odd shape or oddly pointed, among other abnormal ear qualities.
Such odd looks on the ears are among the birth defects that your baby may have developed when growing in the womb. Although this can be scary, do not worry much since most of these malformations are correctable. Here is comprehensive information on the reasons for odd ears and what you can do about it.
What Are the Reasons for the Odd Ears?
The reason your baby’s ears look odd is because of ear malformations before they were born. When your baby has malformed ears, they are said to have a condition called congenital auricular deformity. This condition can mean that the ears have an abnormal shape or some missing tissues. It can also mean that the external ear is under-developed, a condition commonly called microtia. The causes of congenital auricular are not well defined.
However, significant suspects include inherited conditions, genetic mutations, medicines and toxins, and viral infections. Abnormal positioning of the child in the womb is also a possible cause. Luckily, these ear malformations are easily corrected, especially before the child is three months old.
Symptoms of Ear Malformations and Its Diagnosis
If your baby has an ear malformation, it is vivid right after birth. However, mild forms of ear malformations are less visible and later discovered with time. You may recognize other symptoms of congenital auricular deformity, such as frequent ear infections. Additionally, other symptoms may include an abnormally shaped mouth, facial deformities, or crooked or crowded teeth. The doctors conduct advanced hearing tests to detect any hearing loss and CT scans conducted to identify related facial deformities.
Treatment for Congenital Auricular Deformity
As mentioned above, it is possible to rectify ear malformations before the child is three months old. This is through the use of ear molds tapped into the baby’s ears. When applied correctly, they can reshape your baby’s ears in about eight to six weeks. There are other both surgical and non-surgical treatments for congenital auricular deformity.
You can rectify your baby’s odd ears without having to go through the surgery hassle. Non-surgical treatment is best when the ear problem is only external. Some of these are such as the ear molds mentioned above, which are ideal for infants. This will help solve protruding ears and rectify the unusual shapes. Other non-surgical treatment methods are hearing aids, which improve the baby’s hearing if it is also affected.
Surgery is the next option when it is too late to use non-surgical treatment methods if they have failed. If your child is already more than three months old, surgery is the best option to treat congenital auricular deformity. However, after six years, the surgery happens since the ear is now grown to almost an adult-sized ear. The extent of the defects determines the exact age when the surgery takes place. Surgery helps treat both internal and external defects. It is also a way to implement hearing devices such as cochlear implants.
How to Cope with Ear Malfunctions with Your Baby
Having odd looking ears is not easy for both the parent and the child. As a parent, you may feel disappointed and even feel as if it is your fault. On the other hand, the odd ears may be a source of teasing for your baby. If your baby is old enough to hear the teasing and get affected by it, this will affect their self-esteem. Therefore, offer consistent parent support to avoid affecting their self-esteem. You can also join parent-to-parent support groups that support and advise parents whose children have these and other defects.
Malformation of your baby’s ears when in the uterus is why your baby’s odd ears. Fortunately, it is possible to correct such deformities and give your baby a look you would want them to have. Use the information above to brace yourself to help your baby have good looking ears.