What is Ear lidding? Why are my baby’s ears folded?

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Baby’s Ear Lidding – What Causes It and What You Can Do
If you have just given birth to a beautiful baby boy or girl, and are now looking at their sweet little ears for the first time, only to find that they appear folded, don’t worry – you’re not alone! In fact, approximately 1 in every 100 babies is born with this condition. Let’s look at what baby ear lidding is, what causes it, and what you can do about it.
What Is Baby Ear Lidding?
A baby’s physical appearance is essential to parents. One of the first things you notice about your child is their face, and more specifically, their ears. So, imagine the worry and concern that parents feel when they notice that their newborn has a deformity in their ear called “ear lidding.” But what exactly is ear lidding deformity, and what causes it?
Ear Lidding presents at birth. Parents notice this congenital issue that is characterized by the upper portion of the ear folding over. This lop ear deformity happens when the cartilage at the top of the ear, near the center, is folded. This is also called the antihelical fold, which happens when there’s no support from cartilage that hasn’t formed properly.
The severity of the deformity can range from a very mild folding of the upper portion of the ear to a severe folding that covers most of the upper half of the ear. In some cases, both ears may be affected. Ear lidding deformity is usually diagnosed shortly after birth during a routine examination by a pediatrician.
The good news is that ear lidding deformity is a cosmetic defect only and does not cause any hearing problems or other health issues. In most cases, no treatment is necessary as the ears will eventually grow and develop normally. However, in some cases where there is a severe folding of the ear, surgery may be recommended to correct the problem.
If you are a parent of a newborn with ear lidding deformity, don’t worry! In most cases, your child’s ears will eventually grow and develop normally. However, if you are concerned about your child’s appearance or if your child has a severe case of ear lidding deformity, contact us to discuss options to fix your baby’s ear lidding.
What Causes Baby Ear Lidding
If you’ve ever been around a baby, you know that they’re constantly moving their head around, looking at everything and taking in the world around them. But sometimes, you might notice that their ear appears to be folded over or lidded.

Let’s discuss the causes of baby ear lidding and how to treat them.
There are a few different things that can cause congenital lop earedness, including:
• Genetics – if either parent has lop ears, then their child has a higher chance of inheriting the condition
• Environment – things like smoking during pregnancy or even exposure to certain chemicals can increase the risk of a baby being born with lop ears
• Childbirth complications – if there are any complications during childbirth, such as the baby’s head being misshapen, this can also lead to lop ears
What Can You Do About Baby Ear Lidding
If you’re concerned about your baby’s appearance, there are a few things that you can do. First, you can talk to your pediatrician. They might suggest waiting until your baby is a little older before taking any action. This is because the cartilage in their ears is still soft and malleable, so that it might correct itself over time. However, data suggests that if the ear was to correct, this would happen in the first 5-7 days of life. After your baby is a week old, 90% will stay the same way.
In our practice we use ear molding to correct the shape of infants ears without surgery. Ear Molding is painless, requires no anesthesia and is covered by insurance. Ear molding can be done in kids up to 6-8 weeks old although best results are achieved when less then 3 weeks old.
For older kids there are surgical options that can be considered if you’re still concerned after waiting a few months. These include:
• Pinning back the ear – this involves making small incisions in the back of the ear and inserting surgical pins to hold the ear in place while it heals; this is typically done under general anesthesia and takes about 30 minutes to an hour to complete
• Cutting and reshaping the cartilage – this is a more invasive procedure that involves making an incision in front of or behind the ear in order to access the cartilage; the surgeon will then cut and reshape the cartilage before stitching everything back together; this procedure takes about two hours to complete and usually requires a night’s stay in the hospital
If you’ve noticed that your baby’s ear appears to be folded over or lidded, don’t panic! This condition is called lidding or congenital lop ear, and while it might look concerning, it’s actually relatively harmless and can be totally corrected with ear molding. Contact us today to talk about what might be best for your baby’s ear lidding. We offer ear molding in our New Jersey (NJ), NYC and Long Island offices.

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