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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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you should try a new minimally invasive approach called earfold. No surgery, very quick and rapid recovery.





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I'm 15 and my ears are odd and stick out and I can't stand it! I have been bullied for years and I never have my hair up properly (I always pull hair down over my ears) but I'm a dancer, so for competitions and exams, scholarships, etc I have to have my hair straight back with my ears out. It really bothers me and I have no confidence whatsoever. I know I won't be able to have them pinned back on the NHS and even if I could, I wouldn't know how to ask my mum.





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Hi, im 15 and have really sticking out ears, i hate it!! i never ever where my hair down because of how conscious i am of them, I'll always make sure my hair is covering my ears.. i went to the doctors and they said it's not on the nhs anymore so i can't have my ears pinned back, i was so upset as i hate my ears so much, it's just lowering my confidence. is there anything i could do?





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Did you get referred off your gp? I've got an appointment With a surgeon for otoplasty next month? I wouldn't of been referred if the nhs had stopped doing it

Hi im Mike, I'm 13 and I get made fun of my ears all the time, my parents call me radar as my nickname. Whats a cheap, painless and fast way to end this?





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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.

I think a lot of people mean they stick out which can be very stressful and you will never grow into sticky out ears . My daughter is having hers pined back as it's causing issues at school and will never have her hair up which causes more issues as she needs to have it up for PE at school, if you don't have the problem of big ears or ones that stick out then you couldn't possibly understand someone's pain .

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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We're do you live because my daughter is having hers done on the nest he dr saw she was very upset and distressed so he wrote to the hospital and we had appointment today to see plastic surgeon and he said yes so u can get them done on nhs

Hi, I'm in essex, where are you?

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 know the Spanish company that sells otostick, we're helping them launch in UK next month in pharmacies and online. They are very good, easy to use and practically invisible in use. Keep an eye on zurego.com for news of the launch in June.

Otostick now available in UK, see www.perfectears.co.uk for stockists





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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 »