Floppy ears are exaggerated from the main protruding ears that occur in about 5% of the population. The protruding ears are caused by parts of the external ear not being properly applied.
Symptoms of the ears
Flap ears are clearly recognizable. In the medical world, ears that are more than 2 centimeters from the head are called floppy ears. Usually, the helix, the arch at the top of the ear, is too far from the head. In some cases, the concha is also too far off. The concha is the hollow part of the external ear.
Often the ears are not equally far on either side, but one side is more pronounced. Floppy ears are particularly noticeable in children. This is due to the fact that ears have reached their final size at the age of five or six.
As the child gets older, the ears remain the same size while the head grows. The ears then become relatively smaller and less noticeable.
How do floppy ears arise?
Flap ears are innate. Parts of the external ear are not fully applied. Two-thirds of the patients have a family member with floppy ears.
Is it serious and what can you expect?
Floppy ears are completely harmless medically. Socially, however, they can cause problems. Children with floppy ears are regularly bullied and can have less confidence.
Therefore, some children have surgery after about five years of age. The ears are then fully grown and this is usually the time when children go to school and the bullying starts. The procedure is usually performed under general anesthesia in children and under local anesthesia in adults.
The skin is cut behind the ears, after which the cartilage can be deformed or possibly removed. After the proper position is reached and the skin is reattached, a headband should be worn for one week to support the sutures. In the second week, this is only necessary at night. This prevents the ears from double-folding during turning in bed, as a result of which the pressure on the sutures becomes too great and they release.
Children can return to school after about a week and after three weeks join the gym class and play outside.
When to the doctor?
If you want to have floppy ears treated, you can make an appointment with your doctor. He/she will discuss the advantages and disadvantages with you and possibly give you a referral.
What can you do about it yourself?
You can and do not have to do anything about floppy ears.
General advice and precautions
Flap ears are innate and therefore unavoidable.
Share valuable details of with others…