Microtia Awareness Day 2022: Here's everything to know about it
November 9 is observed as Microtia Awareness Day, to spread knowledge about this disability and love to those affected by it. Microtia is diagnosed at birth and occurs when one or both ears of a baby do not fully develop during the first trimester of pregnancy. Found in approximately one child in every 9,000 children, let's get to know more about this health condition.
Microtia is an abnormality in the outer ear
Microtia is a condition that can span from minor deformities in the ear(s) to the complete absence of the external organ. Its name comes from the Latin words "micro" which means small and "otia" which means ear. The disability usually happens in one ear, however, it can occur in both ears depending upon the abnormalities in ear development at the time of pregnancy.
Type 1, Type 2, Type 3, and Type 4 Microtia
Type 1 Microtia is when the external ear is smaller and has all the parts intact but with minor complications. Whereas Type 2 Microtia includes a partial formation of the outer ear and is quite small. When there are some auricular structures but no ear parts identified, it's a case of Type 3 Microtia. Type 4 Microtia indicates the complete absence of the outer ear.
Can someone with Microtia hear?
People born with Microtia do have a certain degree of hearing loss. This heavily depends on whether the disability is in a single ear or both, and if the middle ear and ear canal are in place or not. However, many health professionals believe that one's inner ear may still be able to detect sound, despite the ear canal being completely shut.
Ear prosthetics and surgery are two ways to treat Microtia
Although Microtia is more about the external earn not being fully developed, it is important to observe how the organ is on the inside. Ear prosthetics and surgery are two possible ways to treat this condition. The former includes attaching an ear prosthetic with a strong magnet or adhesive inside the ear. Surgery, however, is more promising and involves reconstructing the affected ear.
Every 1 to 5 out of 10,000 births suffer microtia
Healthcare professionals in the US diagnose microtia in every one to five cases out of 10,000 births. This disability is more often seen in babies assigned male at birth and occurs more in the right ear than the left one. Microtia Awareness Day promotes public awareness, spreading hope that medics will have more research done on this condition.