Microtia Awareness Day Date in the current year: November 9, 2024

Microtia Awareness Day Microtia Awareness Day, also known as National Microtia Awareness Day, is observed annually on November 9. It was created to raise awareness of a congenital deformity that affects the external ear.

The word “microtia” can be literally translated from Latin as “little ear”. It is a congenital deformity where the external ear (auricle) is underdeveloped. Microtia can affect both ears (bilateral microtia) or one ear only (unilateral microtia). In unilateral mecrotia, it is the right ear that is typically affected. A complete absence of the outer ear is referred to as anotia or grade IV microtia. Microtia is often accompanied by aural atresia (underdevelopment of the hearing canal).

Approximately one child in every 8,000–10,000 is born with microtia. The rate is higher in some countries than in others; for example, in the United States, microtia affects one in every 6,000 births. The exact cause of the deformity is unclear; one of possible causes may be exposure to the anti-acne medication isotrentoin (Accutane) during pregnancy. Typically, people affected by microtia and aural atresia can have some degree of hearing loss. The condition also may cause facial asymmetry, known as craniofacial microsomia, which may affect self-esteem and cause other challenges.

People with microtia have many options to improve their quality of life. These options include surgical reconstruction of the outer ear and/or ear canal, ear prosthesis, and hearing devices. There’s also the “Do Nothing” option: some people with microtia choose to embrace their condition and love themselves for who they are. The road to self-acceptance can be a long and bumpy one, so it is important that people with microtia have access to psychological services, as well as a good support system.

National Microtia Awareness Day was launched in 2016 by Ear Community, a charitable non-profit organization that focuses on helping children and adults born with microtia and aural atresia. The main goal of this awareness day is to spread knowledge about microtia and aural atresia among the general public, as well as to bring together people with microtia and aural atresia and their families in order to provide them with information and support.

Medical professionals (audiologists, ENT physicians, pediatricians, plastic surgeons), hearing loss organizations, companies that produce hearing devices, educators, and other stakeholders organize and participate in Microtia Awareness Day events to raise awareness and ensure that people with microtia and aural atresia get the help they need.

If you or your loved one has microtia/aural atresia, you can share your story online to give others hope and help them find the assistance they need and a community where they will feel accepted (of course, only if you’re comfortable doing it). Other ways to participate include learning more about microtia and aural atresia, donating to a microtia patient organization, and raising awareness on social media using the hashtags #MicrotiaAwarenessDay and #NationalMicrotiaAwarenessDay.

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Microtia Awareness Day, National Microtia Awareness Day, observances in the US, awareness days, congenital deformity