Since i was born i did not have an ear shape or an ear canal on my left side (known as microtia), had to undergo a surgery on my right ear at 2 y/o to make an ear canal. For 17 years of my life i had to live like this. Currently undergoing 5 sets of surgeries (recently finished the 2nd stage!) in order to make both an ear shape and an ear canal.
Ask me anything !! I will answer any questions honestly!
Edit 1: YES I KNOW THAT IT IS ‘AN’ EAR OKAY I CAN’T CHANGE THE TITLE NOW!!!
Edit 2: This AMA is always open for questions! You don’t have to PM me to ask me a question!
Proof: https://imgur.com/a/kXip9Zq P.S This photo was from after my 1st surgery. Don’t have a picture from before.
Do you have or will you have hearing on that side?
Actually, i do have hearing on that side! I realised that when i was i think 15? Up until that age i never actually used a pair of headphones. Until i had to wear one for an examination. Was extremely surprised when i started hearing on the left side when i thought i couldnt hear on that side. This surgery im taking is to improve my hearing significantly, and also for the appearance.
Is it hard to be social person with that problem or do you try hide it?
Yes and yes, in my entire life, i have never actually approached someone to socialize with because i was conscious of what they think of my condition, because of that i have a small social circle. All of them were the ones who approached me. In another question i mentioned this, but in public places i always sit at places where my left ear would be the least visible to the public.
When people ask a question that you can hear, do you pretend you couldn't hear it?
Its the opposite actually, when people ask questions and i actually cant hear it i pretend i can understand them, because i am so frustrated with my condition that i do not want to incovenience people by making them continuously repeat their questions.
Did you know you and Paul Stanley of Kiss had this in common?
I just searched him up, i never really heard of him until now when you mentioned him. But wow, someone as popular as this had the same condition as me!
WHATS IT LIKE!?
Answered it already but here ya go anyway
What is it like? Hmm.. well my hearing is definitely wayyy below average, most of the time, when others can hear someone speaking, i cant. Since young i have definitely been bullied for my condition, but it stopped once i went to college. That fustrates me a lot, hence i decided to take up the surgery despite it getting in the way of my education.
There are dozens of us! I too was born with a malformed ear and no ear canal. I had four reconstructive surgeries when I was 8-9 years old back in 1989-90. They were scared to drill a hole in my head for fear they would hit a nerve that would give me the droopy face similar to a stroke. Therefore I still have zero hearing on that side. Was that concern raised to you by your doctors?
The results after the my first surgery were hideous compared to yours and the end result isn't much better. I'm glad you have benefit of modern science that may give you a presentable ear and the sensation of stereo.
If you have questions or just to share experiences, I'd be happy to answer. I'll never forget the pain of trying to sit up in the hospital bed after the first surgery where they took cartilage from ribs. After reading your AMA I feel like I'm talking to a clone of myself.
I said it in my post already, but i also had another surgery in 2003 where they actually made a ear canal in my right ear, when i was born my right ear had the shape, but it did not have a ear canal. Since i was a baby back then i do not know whether the doctors from back then had brought this up to my parents, but its pretty surprising how a mere 13 years difference can have such a huge advance. Its still too early for me to share experiences, since im only on the 2nd surgery, which went well without it hurting too much like the first one
Have you ever been made fun of and how does it feel to the touch?
Of course, i have been made fun of when i was younger, classmates usually made fun of how i reacted when i could not hear what someone asking and about the fact that i do not have a ear (obviously). How does it feel to the touch? Well originally i only had a weird shaped ear lobe, and it feels exactly like how any other earlobe would feel like.
If someone is talking to you and you’re spinning around in a circle does it sound like this is written?
Why in the world would i spin around when someone is talking to me, jesus christ! Never did that before but it will probably sound like how that is written
How long did it usually take before people noticed "what's different about him"?
By habit, i always sit in places where my left side is the least visible to the public, so usually people never notices there is something different about me. However, if someone is speaking to me face to face, he/she will immediately notice my left ear. How do i know this? Because i see them, for a split second, shifting their attention to my left ear then back to my eyes. They think i dont notice them doing that but i see it everytime.
Has it affected your balance any?
I have read about something like this before, but have never experienced any problems with my balance at all, it could be because i was born with this condition and not lost my hearing. Well who knows?
To clarify- your right side has a normally working ear? Do you tend to rotate your head to the left so that ear faces forward a bit?
Yes, my right side has a normally working ear, however now the hearing on the right side is below average, due to me heavily depending on the right ear - for example because i can only put one side of the earpiece i usually put it in a louder volume. Yes i do, only in the case where i cant hear someone clearly.
Did someone grow you an ear in a lab from your own tissues? I understand that's been possible for a few years now.
Haha nope non of the sort. My ear is getting made from scratch, that is why i have to under go 5 separate surgeries
What would you say to an 8 year old with the same experience? Any advice?
I don’t really have much advice since there isn’t much you can do about it if your hearing is reduced because of a deformity. But what i can say is that he/she should stay strong, the child would definitely experience more bullying, stares from other people and problems in everyday life. But for sure some day he/she will stop cursing themselves that they were born that way, because these experiences will shape them into a better person.
Do you find the rest of us a bit eerie?
(Say it aloud. I'll be going now.)
What do you mean exactly by finding the rest of you eerie?
Hey friend, this is pretty interesting to see, thank you for sharing! My brother was born with Microtia of his right ear, so the outside parts were small and underdeveloped, and there was no hole to get to his inner ear. In the US it would've been wildly cost prohibitive to have anything cosmetic done to repair or help ($40k-$80k out of pocket). Do you guys have amazing insurance or a special doctor advocating for treatment? Or are you not in the US maybe, but either way this is pretty cool to see. I'm stoked to see you and your folks have treatment options in your teens. My brother is in his forties and he's just fine, but I know having it fixed would have been great too. Thanks again for sharing with us!
Yes! I’m not in the US.
In my country, as long as you are a citizen and is a teenager/elderly, most medical fees would be subsidised. On top of that, this procedure is not really counted as a cosmetic surgery but rather a medical one, because of that part of the cost is also covered by insurance. In us dollars, for every surgery my parents probably pay around 3k.
This is probably why my parents encouraged me to get the surgery earlier, so that i can still qualify for subsidy.
I was also born without an ear, on my right side. Mine was a birth defect due to Acutane. I am lucky that’s all is wrong with me. Do you know what caused you to be born without one?
I have no idea why i was born without one, since i never asked my parents as i was never curious about that haha
does surgery hurt?
Man, the first surgery was extremely hellish, because i had surgery on 2 different parts of my body, the left side of my ear and the right side of my chest. Meaning that i could only sleep face up, which was a hard thing to do as i usually sleep on my sides. Trying to move around or get up from bed was also hard as hell, since my chest had an incision, i could not even sleep at all on the first day. Man, words can’t describe that pain. The last surgery i did didn’t really hurt as much, probably because it was more minor.
Why at 17? Was the surgery not permitted before or due to finances or something else?
According to my parents, it was because i could only get the surgery from the age of 15, but at that age i didnt want to do it because well, it was too sudden and i was not prepared, for a good 2 years i came to realise that i had to take the surgery sooner or later.
Have you learned any sign language?
Nope, have no reason to since i could still hear and speak, just not as clearly as normal people.
Do doctors know/ have a general idea why your left ear didn’t form?
They have never mentioned anything about why my ear didn’t form, nor did i ask them (because I’m not really curious). But the performing doctor i have today is definitely different from the doctor i had 16 years ago, who might have explained it to my parents.
How is it like?
How is it like? Hmm.. well my hearing is definitely wayyy below average, most of the time, when others can hear someone speaking, i cant. Since young i have definitely been bullied for my condition, but it stopped once i went to college. That fustrates me a lot, hence i decided to take up the surgery despite it getting in the way of my education.
Did you get to pick what your new ear is going to look like or did the doctors have some kind of strategy to pick it for you?
It would be weird if both of my ears looked different from each other right? So the doctors tried their best to make my left ear look as similar as possible to my right. I just have to wait and see the final results.
How did your parents support you throughout your years? How would you have liked to be treated?
They have never brought up anything regarding my ear other than the surgeries throughout my life, I think that they have treated me just like how any other parents would treat their child, and i am just satisfied with that.
Can you wear glasses?
Nope, got no ear for the glasses to hold on to, will always fall on the left side.
I actually have the same condition and even on the same side! But my experiences were very different, I actually never had a problem with the way it looked and I actually liked the way it felt when I kneaded it with my hands. I might have been teased a bit by my friends but I never took it that serious and never became as self conscious about it as about my acne for example. My parents are giving me the opportunity to undergo similar operations, but I don't actually know if I want to? I just feel like its part of who I am and makes me unique so there's that
NGL, but it did feel good to touch it, but then again this is for my future, getting the operations would help me alot more in life.
Do you think that going through all the surgeries you've had, and are planning to still have, is worth it for the expected results?
I guess its worth it. Going through all this will give me a easier life in the future, since i won’t be constantly be stared at in public (at one point a kid just went around the bus stop to look at my ear ;-;) and also, i will be able to hear significantly better, even if it’s not as good as normal people.
My son has microtia in one ear. What would you have wanted from your parents growing up?
From young, i have always kept the situation about me getting bullied by classmates from my parents, even when they constantly asked if i get bullied. Because i was more afraid of my parents calling the school and getting the bullies in trouble, if that happened, the bullying would probably get worse than before. I have always wanted to talk to my parents about the bullying, but just could not because of that. Maybe when you talk to your son about bullies tell him that you would not call the school. If he does not tell you about the bullies himself, and you have to ask him about it, then he would be in the same situation as me. Another thing i was satisfied with was my parents treating me just like they would treat a normal child, meaning, don’t treat him better just because he has microtia.
Can you use bone conduction headphones? Seeing as regular headphones rely on your ear drum and bone conduction headphones don’t. Could you use those before surgery?
I didnt bother to, since normal headphones could do the job for me.
Do you have all of the normal inner ear structures? Everything past the ear drum?
I have no idea about that .-. I don’t have a ear canal, so doctors won’t know if i have normal inner ear structures until they make a ear canal. However, my right ear is normal.
Have you ever thought of wearing a Motorcross..No Fear tshirt and crossing out the F?
Have no idea what is motorcross, never thought bout that
I also have unilateral microtia. May I ask where you're getting the surgical procedures done? Also are you using the rib cartilage to get it done? Best of luck! Heres mine right after the BAHA surgery! https://imgur.com/a/4zZsiLA
I don’t live in the US, so its definitely not in any hospital there, yeap i am using the rib cartilage to get it done, the above picture is after the rib cartilage was installed.
Forgive the personal question: Ears are Erogenous zones. Have you ever felt comfortable letting a SO kiss your ear? how did it feel compared to your other ear?
I’m single 😞
Is your condition as a result of a birth defect or is there a more specific name for this condition?
Yes, my condition is a result of a birth defect, and the specific name for this condition is known as Microtia.
Is it difficult wearing sunglasses?
I just don’t. Since i don’t really require sunglasses.
Do you get headphones for 50% discount?
If i could i wouldn’t have taken this surgery, imagine buying headphones for 50% discount and reselling them - the money i would make!
I actually used to know a guy that had this. Our parents had trailers next to each other in a camp ground. I felt really bad for him because he always had a bad attitude, nobody wanted to hang out with him. But I always figured his attitude was because of being made fun of a lot.
So for a question, growing up, for people tend to give you a hard time?
Of course, growing up i was constantly getting bullied by others, but it didn’t give me a bad attitude, it just strengthened my mentality since all these years i have never snapped at someone who made fun of me
I know someone with a similar condition, though I have never asked them anything about it, don't know if they can hear at all from that side. My question for you is, do you talk primarily from one side of your mouth? I can tell from this person that they talk out of one side of their mouth and likely because the sound only comes in from one side primarily and he can't tell that he is doing it.
I just tried saying the ‘sh’ sound, and it seems like i do have a stronger emphasis on the right side of my mouth, although i still use the left side.
I have another one:
You mentioned surgery, how close to a normal ear can surgery get you?
In terms of? The hearing or the cosmetic factor? If it is the hearing, it will pretty much be like a normal ear, since i do have eardrums and all on the inside, just need a ‘pathway’ to those. If it is the cosmetic factor, then i am not very sure, but as far as i know the doctor says that he tried his best to make the ear look similar to my right one, and the final results should make it look closely similar to each other.
Do you have perfect hearing in your opposite ear or are you deaf/partially deaf. Did you learn ASL? Were you ever considered for a cochlear implant? I think that might have been interesting if you could hear one one side, and had an implant on the other.
I am partially deaf in my left ear, but it might be better after the ear canal surgery. I have never learnt sign language since i could speak. Never did, since its possible to make a ear why not just go for it right?
Do you still get earwax? And is it similar to the other ear if so?
I have no ear canal on my left side, so of course, i wouldn’t have any earwax
Do you have difficulties distinguishing if the sound is coming from the front kr tha back? I heared that spacial hearing relys on different sounds entering both ears depending where the sound is coming from.
Nope, have no difficulties with distinguishing between sounds coming from the front and back. Like right now, im sitting at the back of a bus where the engine is located at, and can clearly hear the engine from the back.
After the surgery, did you have to go around with your face wrapped in bandages like people with facelifts do?
Nope, after the surgery, the doctors encouraged me to not put any form of bandage over my ear, so i moved around with it completely exposed!
In nursing school I remember learning about the progression of fetal development, and that ears develop around the same time as your kidneys. They taught us that if a child has ear abnormalities, they may also have some kidney abnormalities. Have you noticed any kidney-related issues thus far??
Zero. Never really had any issues with my kidney, and they work normally.
Do you get offended if someone gives you a wet willy?
Never got a wet willy before haha, actually had to search that up
Have you ever try to hide it from someone? What do people usually say when see your ears at first time?
I do hide it from the public, but if someone talks to me face to face, i never try to hide it. Most people never says anything when they see my ear, but when they do its all the same question: ‘Sorry but.. can i ask what happened to your left ear?’
Did you know a skilled facial plastic surgeon can take what you have and turn it into a regular looking ear? I work for one and I’ve seen it.
I do have a skilled surgeon from the ENT department, which have taken my cartilage and make it look as similar as possible to my right ear, and also made the earlobes the same.
Hey, me too!! How good do you think the reconstructive surgery works vs doing what I did and just getting a bone-anchored hearing aid?
Can’t really say for sure since my surgery has not been completed yet, and i have no idea how a BAHA would sound like, though i would assume it just sounds like a normal hearing aid
Cousin in law has similar to you (he grew his ear on a rib or something like that).
He used to have long hair to hide his ear. After his surgery he went straight to a short hair look.
Have you found the same that you dress or style yourself differently before and after?
Right now, i still have 3 more surgeries to go. But regarding how i style myself, i dont really style myself differently from how i would if i had a ear. I’m self conscious about my condition but wouldn’t go as far as that to hide it, since people would just end up finding out about it.
What are one of the most common problems you face on a daily basis?
One of the most common problems? Hearing of course, extremely big problem on top of all the staring and all. When other people can normally hear something, i wouldn’t be able to.
Have you read think and grow rich? The book talks about the authors son who grew up with no ear
Probably won’t, because i’m not really the type of person who reads books.. will probably fall asleep after reading 2 pages
Napoleon Hill's son was born without ears. Have you heard of his story in "think and grow rich"?
In another comment another person asked me if i did read his book, seems like i should really take a look at least
Did you hate the Verizon commercial when he asked if you could hear him now?
Don’t live in the us, don’t have a telecom called Verizon, so have never seen the ad you are describing .-.
If you could choose, which celebrity ear would you want to copy for your new ear?
Thats weird, i never even thought of it, I would rather have my new ear look like the one on my right
Do you wear glasses, and if so, how?
Also, are you a fan of Van Gogh?
Nope, pretty much impossible to wear glasses. Only just found out yesterday who was he, haha
What's the most significant body part you would swap to give yourself another ear, if you had to?
If i had to do something like that, i’d rather not. I can still hear since i have my right ear, isn’t really worth it to give up another body part for one more year IMO.
Do you ever grow your hair long enough to hide it?
Nah, in another question i mentioned this but i dont feel like going to such lengths to hide it.
My dad and Aunt are both missing ears. Their mother smoked during pregnancy. Did yours?
As far as i know, my mother never smoked, only my father.
Were you able to hear before the surgery slightly or was it completely deaf?
I could still hear from my left ear before the surgery slightly!
What does it feel like having it sealed up like that?
It just feels normal, i was born like that, so i never actually felt any difference
When somebody tries to show you music with sharing their earphones, do you have to request for the right earphones or do they usually remember?
Sometimes they do end up passing me the left side earphones, i just wear them anyways :3
How are your eyes? Is your eyesight normal?
Yes, my eyesight is normal, don’t require any glasses thankfully
I have not gone for 3d movies in like years, but when i did, i always held up the left side of the glasses, not that tiring since movie theatres has arm rests
Do you have trouble wearing sunglasses?
I don’t wear sunglasses, just gotta deal with it man
Does it ooze wax?
Nope, i don’t have a ear canal at all, so its’s basically sealed up
Do you run into difficulty when using in ear earbuds?
I do, probably because the ear canal on my right ear is pretty narrow, sometimes the earbuds pop out of my ear, the only one i could use right now is probably the apple earphones
Does that side get ear wax?
Since there is no ear canal, there is no space for ear wax to form!
Why does your ear look like a floppy dick? I’m sorry if that’s offensive
That was before haha, it now looks more normal after the 2nd surgery
Do you get a lot of ear infections on that side or the normal ear side?
Honestly, i have never experienced a single case of an ear infection.
Do you tip over?
Tip over? Because of balance issues? In another similar question, i mentioned that i never had any issues with balance.
Can they grow an ear on a rat and attach it for aesthetic purposes?
Have no idea about that kind of stuff, but the way they did it for me was by taking out a cartilage from my chest area and shaped it into a ear.
Will people lend you their ears?
Not literally, but yea i do ask ppl to convey messages sometimes
Have you ever considered taking up wrestling or grappling of some kind? You would fit right in. Having normal ears on the wrestling mat make you the uncommon one
Yeap, i understand that there is a condition known as cauliflower ear thats common among fighters, but yea, i have considered taking up boxing by my own interest, although the final results will not probably look like i have cauliflower ear.
Have you seen "Reservoir Dogs"? During the scene when Mr. Blonde picks up the cut off ear and speaks into it, did you have a little laugh about it?
Wish i could have seen/read every movie/book/person that was mentioned in this post, but i just never had seen any movies where i could see someone similar to me
Back in the early-mid 90s when "no fear" was popular.. a kid here who had microtia always wore the shirts... He put the sticker on his dirtbike and someone ripped off the "f"
He owned it tho. Funny guy.
Have you always been able to make light out of it too?
Yeah of course, when im with my friends, i do things like that!
Do you ever get told it looks like the Fallout ‘arm out with a thumbs up’?
Nah, its probabky just you, and not many have brought up my ear, so they wouldn’t say that it looks like anything at all
YES I KNOW THAT IT IS ‘AN’ EAR OKAY I CAN’T CHANGE THE TITLE NOW!!!
Could you at least change the text in your submission just like you added this line, you maniac?
Whoopsies, changed it
Do you wonder if your children will have this issue one day?
I was born this way as well. I wanted to let others know that this is not genetically passed on to your children. I was told by genetic doctors that it should not be an issue and I now have 4 children. None of them have any issues and none have hearing problems. Their ears developed normally. I also had 3 surgeries as a child long ago. I had a piece of my rib removed as well as but this was done before the technology advances and we gave up after 3 surgeries. I can wear glasses but I definitely don’t have anything resembling an ear. I would hear normally if they open up the canal but I was told that if they hit a nerve, I could lose all hearing on both sides and I am not willing to take a chance. I hide it with long hair and also tend to position myself when talking to others, so I can hear them better. I was recently told I could get hearing aids but I really have no interest in doing so since I grew up this way and I am use to it. I would be happy to answer questions for anyone dealing with this or for anyone that has children dealing with this.
I already knew that my condition isn’t genetically passed down, since none of my family members have had this condition. So i wasn’t really concerned that my future children might have this condition.
Do people think you’re a tough guy because of your cauliflower ear?
Keep in mind the the picture that is in the photo was not how it originally looked, before it was the same, except without a shape similar to a cauliflower ear. And nah, after that surgery it was not really visible from the front.
I have the same condition except on both sides. I had surgeries to correct mine when I was around 7 because it was severely affecting my ability to hear and I was starting school.
A few years ago I had to get the left ear canal re-operates on to widen the opening back up because the ear canal started closing again like in the shape of an hour glass, with the narrow point only open like 1-2mm.
Curious how did they form your outer ear? I know things have changed in 20 years. Mine was from rib cartilage.
Also curious who is doing the work on your ear? The first time I had mine done it was a doctor in Albuquerque,NM, and then recently had it redone at the House Ear Clinic in Los Angeles, CA. It can be hard to find good and experienced doctors for this condition
Mine is also from rib cartilage, so it is probably similar to the procedure you took. The doctor i have isn’t really from the states, since i don’t live there.
I have microtia and artesia as well in my right ear but have never had any procedures. Is there a specific reason your family elected to have surgery on you at such an early age?
My parents waited until I was old enough to be involved in the decision. I've never had a desire to have the procure because of how invasive it is and it doesnt bother me being deaf in one ear.
Sure it can be frustrating at times in loud situations or with new people. But my friends and family know what side to stand on when talking to me and where I prefer to sit so my good ear is facing everyone.
Not to mention, nothing wakes me up when I sleep!
Early age? Do you mean the one i got when i was 2 years old? If so, it was a necessary one, if not, i wouldn’t have any ear canals on either side of my ear.
walks around to right side
Does it have any effect on your balance?
No, it never had any effect on my balance, maybe it is because i was born with the condition, and not lost my hearing.
Hi! So, my mom actually was also born without an ear, and just recently got a cochlear implant to help her, since she was losing hearing in her remaining ear (she's 60 now.)
I see in some of your other responses that you did indeed have some hearing on that side; that's so wild to me. Is the surgery to create an ear canal a more recent thing that they've been able to do? I ask because my mother never underwent any kind of surgery (until the implant last year), but she had been fitted for a prosthetic ear as a child.
Its probably not recent, since i underwent a ear canal surgery in 2003 when i was 2 years old, although the ear canal is more narrower than normal.
How long does it usually take for people to notice?
I have the same thing on the right side, and sometimes it takes months for people to finally notice, and I wear my hair fairly short with no hats.
Do you experience Tonic Tensor Tympani Syndrome (TTTS), Stapedial Tendon Myoclonus, or anything similar?
Also, if you have any questions for me, I'd be happy to answer them!
Months? Damn, it took all my friends less than a few hours to notice that i only had one ear, i don’t really experience anything like the syndrome you described.
Hello, fellow microtia-dude. I have it as well of course.
Have you ever given bone conduction headphones a try? They're a little uncomfortable to wear with our malformed ears, but they're working for me.
I use the Aftershokz brand, but I'm sure there are other good ones.
Also, come join /r/microtia. Not very much activity, but I'd love to have more members.
Nah, only heard of it after i made this post where many other people have mentioned it, but since im already in the middle of the procedure, its too late for me to switch even if i wanted to
Dude same. I was born with one ear as well. There's nothing on the other side except a mass of flesh. Don't even have any hearing unfortunately. I'm an audio engineer looking to create a utility program (or a VST) for us one eared folk. Could we talk about what you'd look for in a program like that to augment your life/ music listeningexperience?
I probably cannot help you with this, since i could still hear from the left side as long as i used a headphone, i was satisfied as long as i could hear music through them.
My nephew has this! How did they make your ear? For him they removed parts of his rib, formed an ear, and then used skin from his groin area. It looks like an actual ear, I don't even notice it unless I think about it. The only issue he is having now is since the skin came from his groin, and being a teenage boy, he is now growing hair on it...
The procedure is actually pretty similar to your nephew’s! Except that instead of the groin, the skin is taken directly from the thigh, and does not grow any hair on it!
If i ask, you'll hear me?
Yeap, i can hear you if u say something to me irl, since i can still hear.
So does that mean that you have everything needed to have a functional ear but just don't have an ear and a canal?
I'm asking because my question is how does it feel to be able to fully hear from both sides? does it feel weird? uneven perhaps? like everything is louder on one side? I'm really curious
Yes for the first paragraph.
When i put on headphones, i hear everything clearly on both sides, it isn’t softer on one side at all.
Do you or have you ever used a cochlear device? My son is 6 and has microtia of his left ear as well! He has had 2 surgeries with the second surgery being a magnet implanted under his skin so he could attach his cochlear device (a Baha) that way instead of a band. Also, thanks for doing this AMA!
I have never used a cochlear device, i only went as far as using a hearing aid, probably because my parents wanted me to take the surgical procedure to make an ear over using a cochlear device, honestly, i would have chose this surgical procedure as well if i was given a choice. Any way, its good that your son can use a cochlear device now!
Did you also have heart problems and part of your esophagus missing?
Nope i don’t, why would i have those problems? 🤔
My best friend has this. What do you need to get the surgery? She is incredibly self conscious about it and last we talked about it she wasn’t aware of any surgery that could make it look like she had two ears.
Your best friend is a female huh? I would say that she might become self conscious of her body if she ends up taking this surgery. This surgery requiries taking out a cartilage from somewhere near the chest area, which will definitely cause a scar. She would also need to have patience, since there are about 4 surgeries if she only wants to look like she has two ears and 5 if she wants her hearing to improve as well, and in between each surgery you would have to wait 3 months. Pretty much any person with microtia can get this surgical procedure, would advice your best friend to talk to a doctor from the otolaryngology department.
A nurse once told me, as my daughter has a slightly deformed ear, to be aware of her kidneys because during pregnancies the ears develop the same time as kidneys. Have you ever had issues with your kidneys?
I have never had an issue with my kidneys, luckily.
Do you have any comfort problems with over-ear headphones? Just asking because I bought some bt headphones yesterday and comfort is apart of the sound and the supported codecs really important.
Ehh, no, i don’t. I primarily use a over-ear headphones and i don’t have any comfort issues when wearing them.
you probably already answered somewhere in the thread...
Does this condition affect your balance?
p.s. it must have been a really exciting exam when you figured out you could hear.
This condition does not affect my balance in any way, probably because i was born with it and not lost it.
Hi OP, thank you for doing this AMA. You have no idea what this means to me.
When you scratch the inside of your other ear, does it sound like Pac Man?
I have no idea how pac man sounds like cause i’ve never played it before .-.
Does it mean that the internals of your ears are normal; like your eardrums, cochlea etc. but the external ear and the canal were not developed right?
Yeap, pretty much
I seen in another comment that you can hear, but is the sound muted or different from that ear?
Also you might say thats kinda... Eerie.
The sound is pretty much the same when i use headphones, but when im not using headphones i guess it sounds softer
Do you think that having the surgery sooner would have been any different for you?
ETA: I have a 2yo with left sided M/A grade three.
I wished i could have taken the surgery sooner, but i couldnt because i was too young. But if i got it sooner, maybe i wouldnt have experienced the bullying in school, and would be more socially confident. But in a way, this condition has also done good things for me.
Do you have both kidneys? The ears and kidneys develop together so usually if you don't have an ear you're also missing a kidney.
Yeap, i do have both kidneys and both of them are working quite well!
Do you have any problems hearing up and down? As in if you close your eyes do you know if the sound is coming from up or down?
Nah, i can distinguish where the sounds are coming from all sides.
Maybe this was asked. But do you have modified sunglasses? I live in the tropics and would be lost with mine.
I dont use sunglasses at all, since i can’t wear normal sunglasses, might as well not
So wait, do you have an ear drum on that side, but no canal? Or is your middle or/and inner ear missing too?
I probably have an intact inner ear on my left side, but just have no ear canal.
Do you go out of your way to cover it, like with a hat etc.? Or do you not care, and leave it "exposed"?
I don’t care and just leave it exposed.
Are you good at spotting prosthetic ears on other people? If so, I have some follow-up questions. Thanks
Nah, never even seen a prosthetic ear before
So how was listening to head sets that each side had a different sound for a certain song?
Pretty much the same sound when i use headsets, not much difference
Do you have trouble balancing? I've heard that ears are really involved in balance.
Nope, i have zero problems with balancing, maybe because i was born with the condition and not lost my hearing.
hows the process going? i can't read comments so ignore if youve already answered!
I recently finished the 2nd surgery, which they got rid of the pearl-like lump of skin (as seen from the picture above) and moved the earlobe over to the bottom of the ear shape. Right now it is starting to look like an actual ear.
Is it more comfortable sleeping on a pillow with no ear or a pillow with an ear?
Not that much difference, really. Either side is just as comfortable
So it's a problem with early development.
Sorry for the pun... Is it genetic?
Its not genetic, nobody in my family has had a condition like mine, so its probably just chance that i ended up with the condition.
Does your ear still produce wax and if so is it uncomfortable to get it out?
My ear cannot produce ear wax since it doesnt have a ear canal, so nope.
Who do you consider to be your most important healthcare professional?
I don’t really have any preference for a healthcare professional though .-.
Is there any question that bothers you the most about that?
No, there isn’t! That is why i started this Ask me ANYTHING, so i can satisfy other people’s curiosity!
how do you wear sunglasses ? Also thank you for answering .
I don’t, just gotta deal with it.
Have you ever been interested in learning sign language?
Nah, never been interested, since i did not have to learn them when i could speak.
What's the worst thing anyone has ever compared it to?
Have none, everybody i have met up till now has never compared it to anything at all.
Do you ever just flick it to see what it feels like?
Haha nah, but i can at least tell you that it feels exactly like a normal earlobe. Doesn’t have any difference since it’s still part of my skin.
What does it sound like when you wear headphones?
Just sounds normal? I can hear the sounds pretty clearly when i wear headphones
Parents location and diet during pregnancy?
I have no idea since i never asked them, sadly.
Do you have any issues with your kidneys?
Nope, i have no issues with my kidneys, they work well.
How big is the chance of having it?
Have what? The deformity? About a 5 in 10,000 chance!
are your other senses heightened?
Haha, those kinds of tv shows you see are just nonsensical, so no, my other senses aren’t heightened.
How do you use 3D voice in games?
I have actually never used 3D voice in games, have no idea what those do
How much do you save on Q-tips?
Tbh i would probably not use them even if i had 2 ears. Reason being i’m too lazy to clean my ears, usually the doctors are the ones that remove all that ear wax.
Are you gonna get it pierced ?
Maybe after the surgeries, maybe not, just gotta see how it goes!
Are you able to wear glasses?
I dont have any need for glasses since my eyes are fine, but no, its impossible to put on glasses for me.
Do you wear and earwig?
Nope, i just walk around without anything of the sort. Just gotta deal with people staring
Do you get tinnitus?
I do, actually, from time to time. Pretty annoying since whenever i get tinnitus i end up being unable to hear anything since my hearing is already reduced drastically.
Is sound muffled?
Nope, sound is not muffled in my left ear, can hear pretty clearly if i use headphones.
So the canals were missing, but eardrums and nerves are there?
Answered this already, here’s a copy paste from before
I have no idea about that .-. I don’t have a ear canal, so doctors won’t know if i have normal inner ear structures until they make a ear canal. However, my right ear is normal.