Friday, August 17, 2012

Microtia Is A Birth Defect Of The Ears

Microtia is a deformity of the ears and it is not usually discovered until a baby is born. When a child is born with this, the baby's parents are usually stunned and unsure about what went wrong. It can affect one ear or both, and the severity of it varies. For some children, only minor deformities are present. Other children may have complete deformities, meaning they are left without any ears at all. In most cases, the level of severity of the condition is related to the level of hearing loss. If a child is born without any ears at all, there is a much greater chance that the child will have a great deal of hearing loss.
If you have never heard of microtia, you may wonder what these deformities look like. Every child is affected by it differently, and the deformities are the most noticeable on the outer ear. This is the part you see, but the ear actually has two other parts. These parts are the inner ear and the middle part of the ear. This condition generally affects approximately 1 in every 10,000 children. The good news is that if a child is born with microtia, there are options. One of the first steps will be to find out if the child has hearing loss. If he or she does, the doctors will try to determine what level of hearing loss has affected this child.
The doctors are then able to help in two ways. They can help by giving the child hearing aids or other devices to help the child hear better, and they can help by reconstructing the ears. If there are no ears to work with, the doctors may even suggest prosthetic ears. Parents of a child with this condition must learn to be patient. The child's doctors may decide that they cannot do anything for the child until he is at least 5 years old, or older. This does require patience, but it will pay off when the child reaches this age.
One thing that the parents should realize is that the cause for microtia is unknown. It is not anything that the parents did wrong, but many parents do feel guilt about it. This condition is one that affects boys more often than girls. In fact, 65% of cases are of boys. It is also more common to find this with the right ear. 90% of all reported cases have deformities only to one ear. If a child is born like this and the parents have another child, there is a much higher chance that the second child will also have this condition. There is also a greater chance that a child with microtia will also have a child with this condition. If your child is born with this, your doctors will offer insight for you regarding your options. You must remember to be patient and you must not feel guilty over it. Most children born with this are able to lead normal, productive lives.

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