Microtia

Understanding ear related symptoms and features

Symptoms may affect multiple parts of the body. Understanding which part of the body a symptom affects, can help us to better understand the potential underlying causes of a symptom, including a rare disease or genetic syndrome.

The ear is a part of the auditory system of the body. The auditory system includes the ear itself and its parts: the inner, middle and outer ear.

Symptoms affecting the ears may be congenital, present at birth, or they may develop later in life. Sometimes surgery may be an option to correct them.

Symptoms relating to the ears may affect their structure and function including their ability to hear, other times they may simply affect the shape or appearance of the ear without any impact on hearing.

What is Microtia?

Microtia refers to ears that are underdeveloped and small. It can affect just one ear, or both. In up to 90% of cases it occurs in just one ear.

In some cases the feature may cause hearing loss, as it may lead to a closed or absent external ear canal. However microtia can be fixed, and the associated hearing loss fixed.

Microtia is a congenital condition, and presents at birth.

What should I do next?

In some instances small ears may be one of the features of a rare disease or genetic syndrome. In this case fast, targeted genetic analysis can give you a more accurate diagnosis.

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