While the majority of babies born in New York City are healthy and without ear problems, an abnormality does occur every now and then. Between 15% and 20% of babies are born having an ear deformity. Thirty percent of these cases are expected to self-correct; however, there is no scientific method to determine which ones will correct as the baby grows old. Without early intervention, many children will require otoplasty, or corrective ear surgery, by the time they reach the age of five or six.
Thankfully, experts developed a non-invasive, straightforward procedure for correcting ear problems — ear molding NYC. It is a safe way to correct ear deformities in babies without the need for surgery.
Ear Molding NYC: What Is It?
Ear molding is a non-surgical procedure that is performed almost immediately after birth. This procedure significantly reduces, and in some cases completely eliminates, the risk of the child requiring corrective surgery as an adult.
The sooner the ear molding is performed, the more likely the incorrect shape will be repaired completely and permanently. Bear in mind that once a newborn reaches the age of six to seven weeks, the ear cartilage hardens, rendering this treatment ineffective.
Ear Molding NYC: The Theory Behind It
Babies are born with elevated estrogen levels in the bloodstream, which reaches its peak on the third day of life. This increased estrogen increases the plasticity of the ear cartilage, allowing a window of opportunity for the ear to be shaped into the proper position. Ear molding was already practiced for centuries, albeit the methods used before have historically been ineffective at correcting ear deformities. Until recent discoveries for ear molding, physicians had been recommending to new parents to create a mold for their baby’s ears using a dental paste, feeding tubes, and paper tape. Shaping the ear of a newborn baby has been laid to the parents as one of their responsibilities, which may be overburdened by the responsibility to take care of their little child. Furthermore, the homemade mold shifts and wiggles, preventing the ear from being continually folded into the right position, which in turn lengthens the treatment duration. Thankfully, recent advancements in ear molding technology have eliminated the need for parents to take any responsibility for the molding. Parents may leave on an ear mold without thinking about it. It provides pressure to the ear to make it conform to the natural ear anatomy of the child.
FAQs about Ear Molding NYC
When is the optimum time to use ear molding to reshape a baby’s ears and correct ear deformities?
There are ear abnormalities that are not that serious and can self-correct within the first few weeks after birth. If they have not been corrected by then, research indicates that they will remain deformed. The sooner ear molding is initiated, the more favorable the outcome. Experts prefer to begin during the first 2-3 weeks following birth. However, experts could effectively reshape ears even when starting the ear molding at 7-8 weeks after birth.
When does the cartilage of the baby’s ear begin to harden? How much time do you need to correct the deformity?
At approximately 6-7 weeks of age, the cartilage in the baby’s ear begins to harden. It is highly suggested to begin the molding early and then keep the molding in place until the ear’s cartilage begins to harden.
Ear molding typically lasts 4-6 weeks, depending on the severity of the deformity.
Is ear molding uncomfortable, and does it have an effect on the development of hearing?
It is not uncomfortable at all, and babies are even unaware of it. The mold is formed over and around the ear using soft medical-grade silicone. There are holes at the front surface; hence, it has no effect on the development of hearing.
What happens if ear abnormalities are not corrected early enough?
The ear cartilage begins to stiffen, making the shaping or molding more challenging to perform. Ear surgery, referred to as otoplasty, would then be the only option left to treat the deformity. Otoplasty is typically performed in children between the ages of 5 and 6 – this is when the ear has reached adult size.
What conditions can ear molding be used to treat?
Ear molding can be used to treat a variety of ear problems. These include the following:
Also known as buried or hidden ear, this is an uncommon congenital ear defect in which the external ear’s upper half is covered beneath the skin on the side of the head. Occasionally, the concealed cartilage is also improperly shaped. Ear molding is usually used to address the problem.
Protruding or Prominent Ears
Protruding or prominent ears are those that protrude significantly from the side of the head. While ear molding may help alleviate this issue, many people ultimately require surgical repair to be truly satisfied with their look.
Lop ears refer to ears that have their upper half folded over. Oftentimes, ear molding is highly successful.
This deformity develops when the upper section of the cartilage of your upper ear has an additional fold, resulting in a pointed shape. Even at birth, it is clearly recognizable because of its elf-like appearance.
What to anticipate during the course of treatment?
The plastic surgeon would extensively clean the ear prior to applying any liquid adhesive. The next step is to shape the child’s ear using an external shaping device that serves as a splint. To secure the splint, steri-strips and liquid adhesive are being used.
Do not fret; ear molding is completely painless. Your physician will then conduct routine examinations upon the treatment period to monitor the child’s progress and address any issues that may arise.
Otoplasty Vs. Ear Molding
When estrogen levels become normal — about six weeks of age — non-surgical methods of correcting deformities become less dependable, requiring babies with ear deformities to wait and undergo ear surgery later on. Many children have the procedure known as otoplasty later in their youth, but as with all procedures, it carries some danger – including infection, hemorrhage, and anesthesia-related issues. Furthermore, there is a 20% possibility that the deformity might recur following the otoplasty.
Due to its better success rate and painless procedure, ear molding is a more appealing option for parents. Changes to the ear’s soft curves and the eradication of particular ridges can be addressed more effectively through ear molding.