Give An Ear Foundation Founder Viola Ntokazi Nwadike Shares Her Personal Story
Inspired by her journey Viola Ntokazi Nwadike felt called to help other families navigate the emotional trauma that comes when dealing with Microtia. When her child was born with the condition, it didn’t take her long to recognize the need for answers and to advocate for the right solutions not just for her child but for all children.
Microtia: Microtia is a congenital deformity that influences the outer ear (pinna) and occurs when the ear doesn’t fully develop during the first trimester of pregnancy. Microtia ears can vary in appearance, often characterized by their smaller size, peanut-shaped structure, the presence of a small nub or lobe, or even complete absence at birth. The term “Microtia” is derived from Latin, where “micro” and “otia” combine to mean “little ear.” It can affect one ear (unilateral) or both ears (bilateral) and is relatively rare, occurring in approximately 1 out of 6,000 to 12,000 births, with a slight preference for the right ear. It’s important to note that Microtia is often accompanied by Atresia, further complicating the auditory challenges faced by those affected.
Microtia can affect hearing to varying degrees, depending on the severity of the condition. In cases where the ear canal and middle ear structures are also underdeveloped, hearing may have a greater impact. Treatment options for microtia may include hearing aids, surgical reconstruction of the ear (auricular reconstruction or plastic surgery), and, in some cases, bone-anchored hearing devices.
Families facing the condition of microtia may experience various emotional stressors as they navigate the challenges associated with the diagnosis and management of the condition. It’s essential for families facing microtia to seek support from healthcare professionals, support groups, and mental health professionals who can provide guidance, information, and emotional support throughout the journey. Give An Ear Foundation has support systems in place to help families in need at all stages and work with them as they navigate the healthcare system.
To learn more visit Give An Ear Foundation