Types Of Baby Ear Deformities And Malformations

By Dr. Christopher Cote and Dr. Nicolette Picerno on January 31, 2022 under EarWell

Types Of Baby Ear Deformities And Malformations

If you’ve just given birth, you’re spending constant time with your newborn, drinking in all their little features and dreaming about how they’ll look when they’re older. A common concern some parents have is about the shape of their baby’s ear or ears, where they don’t look quite “normal” or look underdeveloped. The truth is, there are dozens of different baby ear deformities and malformations beyond medical conditions such as microtia, where the ear isn’t fully developed.

Fortunately, there is a way new parents can mold and correct the shape of an infant’s ear with gentle, effective EarWell treatment. Even when a pediatrician shows no concern or awareness of the abnormal ear shape, your child can still benefit from this non-invasive procedure for ear molding.

What Causes Ear Deformities?

When we’re talking about ear deformities that EarWell treats, we’re talking about underdevelopment, where vital parts of the ear fail to form during pregnancy. Instead, we mean superficial or cosmetic deformities that cause the ear to look unnatural or unlike either the mother’s or father’s ears.

These types of malformations occur commonly due to the position the fetus was in during pregnancy, resulting in various pressures on the developing ear tissue. In utero, the ears form from six mounds of tissue called hillocks of His that eventually become the intricate turns and shape of the ear we’re familiar with. If there are abnormal pressures in the womb due to position, these mounds do not develop properly, even if the ear itself is functional and fully formed.

Heredity also plays a role in some cases of baby ear deformities, where an unusual ear shape does closely resemble one or both parents’ ears, albeit smaller. No matter the cause, we can always perform EarWell to adjust the shape and contour of a baby’s ear with great satisfaction.

Hilox of hiss doesn’t completely develop, pre-auricular pits, sometimes relates to other conditions such as cysts in the ear canal or neck, facial nerve abnormalities.

Common Fully Developed Ear Deformities

The most common ear deformities we see are a prominent conchal bowl (causing the ears to stick out far away from the head) and flattened antihelical fold (the ridge of tissue just inside the outer edge of the ear). However, there are many types of ear deformities, including a “cupped” or constricted ear, where the upper portion of the ears are folded or look compressed.

Other ear deformities are not as noticeable, such as Stahl’s ear, where the ear develops an extra fold of horizontal cartilage in the upper portions of the ear that causes a pointier upper ear that can look relatively normal. This is actually an ear deformity also called “elf ear” or “Spock ear” due to the resemblance to characters with iconically pointy ears.

These malformations typically have no symptoms of other, serious conditions, but they can be in some cases. Some infant ear deformities are linked to cysts in the ear canal or neck as well as facial nerve abnormalities. This is why it’s important for pediatricians and other baby health care providers to recognize these conditions so further tests can be done to detect potential health issues.

EarWell Correction for Infant Ear Deformities

What we’ve learned by discussing some of the common baby ear deformities new parents may discover is that if you think there’s any chance your baby’s ear didn’t develop properly, you should seek help as soon as you can. EarWell treatments work best prior to six weeks of age, after which there’s nothing we can do until the ear fully develops, which can take up to eight years. If you have any worries, the team at FacesFirst can help put them to rest through non-invasive EarWell treatments. Call our office or contact us online today to get the process started.