Overview of ear shapes

Protruding, attached, big, small, pointed or bent
Last update on Nov, 22, 2022

How ear shapes are inherited & what they say about health and character

For most of us, our ear type is not something we think about often. However, when we do, we can’t help but notice that its size, earlobe problems,  shape and position and how this trait is often inherited from either our parents and/or family members. In this article, we will give you an overview of the most common types of ears and when it is best to undergo an ear modification procedure.

Things to know about ear shapes

Like fingerprints, ears are unique and their shape and position are specific to each individual. Scientists who have done extensive research on the subject have identified the following types of ears over the years: square, pointed, narrow, protruding, with a broad lobe, with an attached lobe.

Genetics: How is the ear shape inherited?

The size, and prominence of each person’s ears are impacted by the genes inherited from their parents, as is their hairline and the shape of their earlobes.

Historical facts about ear shapes

The study of ear shapes goes back in centuries; as far back as the Middle Age, during the persecution of witches when certain ear types were considered those of witches. In recent years, researchers have also found a link between certain ear shapes and criminality. 
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Does the shape of our ears influence us?

Some people believe that our ear shape can influence the way we hear and, at times, even our personality. You will learn more about this in the next few paragraphs. 

Influence on the health of our hearing

No studies so far have found a clear link between ear shape and the way we hear. However, the way we hear is influenced by the outer ear, the visible part of the auditory system.

Influence on our character

There are no scientific studies thus far attesting to the correlation between ear shape and an individual’s personality. However, there is evidence that different lobe types may be associated with certain developmental disorders and deformities such as, for example, defects in jaw muscles and defects in jaw morphology. 

An overview of common ear shapes

Let's now see what are the most common ear and lobe shapes.

Normal ears

We cannot say for certain whether there are types of ears that can be considered standard. However, the type of ears referred to as flared ears are considered a minority in the population and the most distinctive compared to other types. 

Protruding ears & earlobes

Protruding ears, commonly referred to as flared ears, are an aesthetic problem that affects many people. The problem consists of the size and excessive protrusion of the ears in a disproportionate manner to the physiognomy of the face. Protruding ears are considered a  hereditary anatomical feature and are more likely to be found among members of the same family. Keep in mind that although the protrusion may be considered by some an aesthetic defect, it does not alter a person’s hearing ability. People with this ear shape often resort to an ear surgery, or otoplasty, to improve the shape, position and proportion of the ear.

Attached ears & earlobes

Attached ears is the ear type where the earlobe is attached to the skin of the head. The degree of separation of the earlobe from the head is a trait that depends on genetics. Having an ear with an attached lobe does not affect a persona’s hearing ability and is simply an aesthetic concern. To find out which hearing aid best fits this type of ear, visit your nearest Amplifon centre. 

Big ears

An ear is defined as big or oversized when its auricular axis, which usually has a vertical dimension between 5.5 cm and 6.5 cm, exceeds its standard length. Also known as macrotia ears, their size isn’t proportional to the person’s head. To find out which hearing aid best fits this type of ear, visit to your nearest Amplifon center.

Small ears

An ear is defined as small when the auricular axis is less than 2 inches in size. Also known as microtia, this congenital deformity of the outer ear occurs when the ear does not fully develop during the first trimester of pregnancy.  To find out which hearing aid best fits this type of ear, visit to your nearest Amplifon center. 

Elf ears

Pointed, also known as elf ears, is a characteristic feature where a person’s earcup is somewhat pointed upwards.  Although this type of ear shape may be considered an aesthetic abnormality, it does not compromise a person’s hearing ability. To find out which is the best hearing aid for you, visit to your nearest Amplifon center. 

Folded ears

Folded ears are a type of ear especially common in newborns. In this type of ear, the pinna of the ear is slightly bent inward. However, there is no need to worry, the ears will straighten out on their own as the person grows. Should this not be the case, an EarFold is a fairly common procedure undergone by people with this type of ear.

Hard vs. soft ears

Soft or hard ears refer to the type of cartilage that characterizes an auricle that is somewhat fragile.  A soft cartilage is more common in infants as it is not yet fully developed. A hard ear, on the other hand, is often present in wrestlers or boxers, as a result of the constant blows received to the head which tend to thicken the cartilage of the pinna. To find out whether you have soft or hard ears and which is the best hearing aid for, visit your nearest Amplifon center. 

When is an ear considered as nice or ugly?

There is no such thing as beautiful or ugly ears. Any judgment on the matter is entirely subjective. The most important thing to consider with regards to your ear type is that you feel good with its shape and size. 

Amplifon's personalised hearing solutions

Amplifon has a wide range of hearing solution products customized and, therefore, suitable for every type of ear. Some of the latest generation models that combine technology, innovation and comfort are amply- mini, amply - connect, amply - energy and amply – easy, to name a few. To learn more, book an appointment at your nearest Amplifon center.

Other questions? Come and visit us in an Amplifon center

Book an appointment and come and visit us at one of our Amplifon centers, our hearing care professionals will be ready to answer any of your curiosities about the world of hearing and to show you our range of Amplifon hearing aids.

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