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New Device Fixes Infant Ears

Alexandra Styler is as cute as a bug and healthy as can be--except for one thing--okay--two things.

She was born with misshapen ears, in her case severe a severe lidding deformity.

Her parents took her to Dallas area doctor Steve Byrd who created the Earwell system.

Earwell simply molds out-of-place cartilage back into form.

Alexandra’s ears look amazingly better after just one week.

Alexandra's parents, David and Veronica, were concerned she would someday have to have plastic surgery but a nurse told them about Earwell.

"Oh,” David said. “We thought it was just a blessing, yeah, my understanding is that when would have had to wait and have plastic surgery and this is something that we can address right away."

Timing is everything. Dr. Byrd said acting in the first week or two is critical because cartilage begins to harden.

"The dilemma then is a lot of babies have something that is very treatable just with the application of this device and they don't have the opportunity because it's not diagnosed in time," Dr. Byrd said.

Dr. Byrd said if ear deformities are not diagnosed in time kids may face plastic surgery later.

In between kids with ears with misshapen ears can be picked on and bullied.

Dr. Byrd has heard it all from concerned parents.

“Dumbo, elephant ears, elf ears,” Dr. Byrd said. “All of those as part of the teasing thing."

Bullying is something David and Veronica considered.

"Yeah, we thought about that.” David recalled. “I mean it's just you know we as parents would like the best for her and it's not just something about being vain, you know if we can help her look her best why wouldn't we?"

The Ear well device stays on for about five weeks.

Nida Kia's daughter Calais is finished and her ears are picture perfect.

"Yeah, it's great now,” Nida said. “It looks exactly like the other one so we're very happy with the results and it was very non-invasive which as a new mom made me very happy!"

Dr. Byrd said Earwell is generally covered by insurance--but plastic surgery isn't.

As for Alexandra--her ears are on the mend.

"We'll have a couple of pictures to remember it by but it's going to be history soon," David said.


Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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