Ear malformations describe a wide range of birth defects that affect a baby's ears and occur while your baby is developing in the uterus. Because other parts of the baby's body are developing during the same time as the ears, the pediatrician will carefully examine your baby for related problems including:
If untreated, congenital ear malformations can cause a variety of complications, including:
Causes of various types of ear malformations are not fully understood, but some possible factors include:
There are many types of congenital ear deformities, including:
Congenital ear deformities are usually visibly noticeable at birth, although milder forms may be less apparent. Other, less noticeable symptoms of ear deformities include:
Many congenital ear malformations can be easily corrected if they are diagnosed very early, within a few weeks of birth. At Children's National Hospital, our pediatric team can usually detect ear deformities through a physical exam. Other tests our physicians may recommend include:
Children who have minor ear malformations may not need treatment if their hearing is normal. For more severe cases, the treatment goals focus on correcting the shape of the ear and restoring any hearing loss. Children need good hearing ability for proper speech and language development.
At Children's National, our treatment options include:
Our pediatric otolaryngology experts diagnose and treat a wide range of pediatric ear, nose and throat disorders.
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Father and son Ryan and Alex Morales know what it’s like to spend days—even weeks in the hospital. The two have been patients at Children’s National Hospital for more than 10 years. Their stories are connected by Children’s National physicians who have been treating them since 2005 and continue to see them improve and grow in more ways than one.
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