Ear deformities in infants refer to irregularly shaped ears without any functional, hearing issues. It is estimated that anywhere...
Infant Ear Splints
Evolution of Infant Ear Splints
Ear molding consists of applying a custom-fit, soft plastic mold that corrects the ear deformity and holds the ear in a more normal position. Be wearing this device continuously (usually for 2-6 weeks), the ear can be reshaped to correct the deformity. The device is held in place with adhesives and tape; there is no pain to the infant during the application process. Several different ear molding devices are available ranging from those that can be applied at home to those requiring physician application.
A useful analogy is to think of an infant’s ear cartilage as wet clay. This soft, malleable cartilage can be held in a new position by the ear mold. As weeks pass, the cartilage hardens and holds its new shape. The device can then be removed while the ear shape remains permanently improved.
The EarWell® system is an ear molding system that was developed by Dr. Byrd, a highly respected pediatric plastic surgeon. Numerous clinical studies have been performed using the EarWell® system, with a 90% success rate if applied early in an infant’s life. The system must be applied by a physician. Ideally, treatment begins within the first 2 weeks of life. Applying the EarWell® is painless for the infant. The physician will have to clip some of the hair around the ear, apply a plastic adhesive base plate, mold retractors and formers to fit your infant’s ear, and apply a breathable covering. Once applied, the parents are asked to keep the device dry and monitor it for loosening. The system should not interfere with the infant’s ability to hear or his/her language development.