The following remarks are only general in nature and are not intended as medical advice. If you are concerned about the shape of your ear or that in your child then consult with your general practitioner or the relevant medical specialist for the optimal advice.
Malformations of the external ear arise in 5% of children. It usually arises from a defect in the embryological development of the ear when one part of the ear anatomy does not “unfold” as intended, resulting in a protruding ear. Sometimes known as “Bat Ear”, it is but one of a range of external ear malformations.
Unfortunately children can be harmed psychologically if they are teased about the appearance of the ears, and, in an ultimate cruelty can be given a nickname alluding to its shape. Parents can also harbour some inner embarrassment in their otherwise perfect child and seek out assistance to minimise the impact of the ears appearance as they grow.
The good news is that treatments exist that can correct the angle of the external ear in relation to the skull. This is the domain of a plastic surgeon or ENT specialist with an interest in this condition. You do have to wait until at least the age of five or older, when the ear is fully developed before an intervention would be appropriate. In the meantime the strategies to minimise psychological impacts in the developing child require careful consideration.
Usually the external anatomy will have no impact on one’s hearing acuity. Should you wish to have your hearing assessed ACE Audiology is happy to assist.