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Conditions

Protruding Ears

Protruding ears - Licensed under CC from Viveee - http://www.flickr.com/photos/veronica-photos/3313234414/

“Pin back your lugholes!” used to be a favourite phrase for teachers, and kids who feel embarrassed about protruding ears may wish they could do exactly that.

Just like adults, kids are self-conscious about their appearance and sticking-out ears can be a genuine source of anxiety and teasing. One reason why ears can seem so prominent is because they reach adult proportions before the rest of the body, so by six years old, most kids are sporting the ears of a fully-grown adult. Different people, of course, have different ideas about how big or protruding their ears really are, but it’s reported that between one and two per cent of the population are unhappy with the size and shape of their ears. If you or your child feels that way too, there are a variety of things you can do.

In babies under six months the cartilage in the ear is still malleable and can be manually moulded into a different shape. The process is called pinaplasty or otoplasty, and it involves using a splint to control how the ear grows. Splints are usually worn constantly for a period of months, and are considered a painless and effective way of dealing with the problem. Splints are readily available from private companies, but you should talk to your doctor first, before embarking on a course of home-treatment.

In babies and children older than six months, the ear is already too developed to be remoulded, and the only option is surgery. Doctors won’t suggest this until a child is five or six, and the operation itself involves the removal of some of the skin and cartilage from the ear. In most areas in the UK you have to pay for an operation of this sort, and surgery can be expensive (up to £2,000). But if big ears are causing teasing and low self-esteem, surgery may provide a worthwhile solution.

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Hello im ollie im 22 yr old my left eat is higher than my right i cant stand it its messing my mental health up i feel so depressed and cant even tell the doctor i care what i look like and i cant it .what can i do i need this problem fixed id rather not be here with these ears .messing my head up n my ballance. most the my heads tilted because i think my ears are equal on same time so i look stupid i cant do this please help rather be gone cant do this iv had enough cant even go out with out thinking about how i look im always negative no confidence ! :( i need help or il have to do something to them





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Hello im ollie. Im 22 i have a big problem one ear is higher on left and low on the left side .i dont know whay to do i feel sick n tired n depressed i cant move on and be happy till its sorted i would rather not be here with these ears .what can i do i cant take this for much longer its. messing with my head im really depressed my ballance up head tits abit with out. knowing because there not not equal the same size .please help iv had bad depression for a long time now n hate my apperrence .i ned help cant take much more





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I'm tired of having 14+ years with big ears. I really want otoplasty but it seems expensive. I'm tired of getting teased by everyone and having low self-esteem.





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This confuses me. Ears grow faster than other parts of the body during childhood so why wouldn't people just tell the kids they'll probably grow into them. I know a man who had big ears as a kid and he was well proportioned once he grew up. Everyone gets teased about something growing up, I don't understand why the answer is always to change something. I think maybe people need to change by developing some confidence, learning some good comebacks for those bullies and watch while those people realize they can't get to you.





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Yeah, I agree on the last bit. Because that's what I would do and be more self-confident, thats how we have to live and that is the way to do.

Hi, my 13 year old daughter is very upset with her protruding ears and hates the way they look. She will only wear her hair down, but even covering them in this way doesn't really help. I took her to the doctors today, but he said treatment to pin them back is not available on the nhs anymore which seems so unfair. My daughter was so upset when she was told this. I would love to be able to afford to take her to a private consultant, but unfortunately I am not able to so this. Can you offer any other advice? Many thanks!





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Try Otostick. They are made up of 2 transparent silicon pads that hold the ear back against the head and, with persistent use, eventually help reshape the cartilage. Around £20 for 4 sets of pads.Spanish based but available on ebay.





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does it rlly work? will it change permanently?

I'm a 14 year old girl and my ears stick out really bad. I was bullied badly when I was yonger and it has left me with no confidence. Even now people still take the micky. I just feel so ugly and I really want the oporation but I can't tell my mum because I'm so emmbaressed!





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same problem what to do???

Hi I am pregnant... My husbands ears stuck out (I love them) but my husband is so worried our baby will inherit his ears. Whats the percentage that our baby will inherit my husbands ears? Thankyou





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use david gaults ear buddies they are avalible to buy online splint the ears soon after birth the instructions are supplied then the baby will have the perfect ears

hi. my name is lynn. and i have a 17 month old son. his ears do stick out just a bit. and i fiddle with them just to see how it could've been. his ears still feel very soft. and im wondering if it's too late to fix them or not? he is a very handsome boy. i don't want him feeling bad about his ears. are there any solutions?





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Yes, there are many options indeed. Since his years feel soft, you could always visit sorribesonline.com and use their treatment. It definitely worked for my son. It is around 500. but it's worth the money. Another alternative is taking the surgery in China. It costs as low as 50. Many of my western friends go there, just to find out some great deals lying around.

google ear buddies by David gault with persistent use you might get lucky idealy they need to be put on in the first few weeks of birth.if in the future you decide on operation make sure its the safe suture technique to pin them back. the anterior scoring technique is risky as bleeding can contiue after surgery causing heamatoma and serius deformity of ears seen lots of bad results with this technique.greg o toole does the safe technique as david gault

I'm James, and I have what I think to be larger ears than most. I'm 14 years old, and I don't think there is any problem with it. My best advice to everyone out there with the same problem is this - Don't Worry About it. You might get bullied a bit, but so does everyone for different things. I was bullied because of it a time ago, and I had a little longer hair than most guys that would cover it up. My solution was probably one of the hardest I could come by. Just accept who I am. And believe it or not, it worked to the fullest of it's extent. I got a buzz cut two summers ago and am not ashamed of my ears at all. I read a comment in here saying that it is hard for this boy around my age to "Get girls"... and I thought about this but it didn't change anything for me. I kept my personality very likable and not socially awkward and I scored a real Hottie ( whom I later found out cheated on her boyfriend for me :0 ). Having big ears isn't the end of the world. It might seem like a worry, but don't even waste the thought. It's not worse crying over, or even talking about. Get used to it, It WILL be fine, you WILL survive, and you will not be treated differently if you just ignore them and act like normal. -James





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It looks like no one else has asked this question, so please fill in the rest of your details below.





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Content supplied by NHS Choices

Around 1-2% of people in the UK think their ears stick out too much. While having protruding ears does not usually affect a person’s hearing, it can cause psychological distress, particularly for children. Read More »