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Microtia is a congenital deformity where the pinna (external ear) is underdeveloped. Microtia can be unilateral (one side only) or bilateral (affecting both sides). Microtia occurs in 1 out of about 8,000–10,000 births. In unilateral microtia, the right ear is most commonly affected. It may occur as a complication of taking Accutane during pregnancy. The Four Grades of Microtia
• Grade 1: Small ear with mostly normal ear anatomy and often no canal or a narrow canal.
• Grade 2: Characterized by some ear anatomy, including a developed tragus. The bottom 1/3 of the ear is usually normal, no ear canal or a narrow canal.
• Grade 3: Most common form of microtia, characterized by small, undeveloped ear remnants and no canal.
• Grade 4: Also referred to as anotia, no ear remnants or canal present.
HOW IS MICROTIA DIAGNOSED?
An ear-nose-throat specialist may diagnose Microtia based on physical observation. He may order for an X-ray to confirm the grade of Microtia. Children affected with microtia loos 40-50% of their hearing. Speech is generally not affected by microtia
HOW IS MICROTIA TREATED?
Depending on the extent of the disorder treatments could consist of surgery to improve hearing in patients. Hearing aids and cochlear implants could be used to help patients hear. The outer ear deformity can be corrected through surgery.
DID YOU KNOW?
In unilateral microtia, which affects only one ear, most often the right ear is underdeveloped.