Though uncommon to many, microtia is understood as a congenital ear deformity that makes the outer ear not fully develop during the first few weeks of pregnancy (the first trimester). The result is a small external ear that has not developed properly. In most cases, only one ear is affected. However, in ten percent of the cases, both ears can be affected. Therefore, the odds of getting microtia are very slim, with one in every eight thousand babies born with it.
There are different classifications or grades of what is microtia in children. These grades are based on the severity of the condition. Below are the grades of microtia.
Get to Differentiate the Grades of Microtia
Grade 1 Microtia
In the grade 1 Microtia, the child’s ear appears normal, although slightly smaller. A majority of the ear features are visible, with a few missing. In this grade of microtia, the ear canal may or may not be present. The ear canal may also be narrowed compared to one from the normal ear.
Grade 2 Microtia
The grade 2 microtia is characterized by the ear missing majority of the typical defining features. The ear lobe is the present feature that is visible. On the other hand, the ear’s helix, or rim, is underdeveloped. In this case, the ear canal may or may not be present.
Grade 3 Microtia
The grade 3 microtia is the most common form of ear deformity. The top half of the ear is made up of disorganized cartilage. On the other hand, the bottom half has a normal ear lobe with a more vertical direction. An almost missing ear canal also characterizes this condition.
Grade 4 Microtia
The grade 4 microtia is commonly referred to as Anotia. The term Anotia means the total absence of the external ear. The grade 4 microtia is the most severe case of microtia deformity and is always characterized by a low-set hairline. This classification also has a missing ear canal, either unilaterally or bilaterally.
The Top Treatment Options for Microtia
Microtia is a birth deformity of the ears that leads to a deformed external ear and sometimes the internal ear canal. The medical field has come up with several procedures which are effective in surgically constructing the ear to get rid of the defect.
The external ear options include surgery with a child’s natural cartilage, polyethylene implant surgery, fixing ear prosthetics, and 3-D printed ear, which is under study.
If the ear canal is missing, the condition may be treated by using bone-conduction hearing aids (surgical and non-surgical) as well as canaloplasty or atresiaplasty.
From the above information, it is evident that microtia is unpreventable but can be fixed. Depending on the type of microtia an infant suffers, various medical treatment options will suit their needs. These treatment options can be surgical or non-surgical. There is no better way to live life than with the best looks and functioning body parts. The ears matter, and microtia isn’t that bad after all.