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Comments: 769 • Responses: 85  • Date: 

Simzter794 karma

Do you have or will you have hearing on that side?

TLJQ1554 karma

Actually, i do have hearing on that side! I realised that when i was i think 15? Up until that age i never actually used a pair of headphones. Until i had to wear one for an examination. Was extremely surprised when i started hearing on the left side when i thought i couldnt hear on that side. This surgery im taking is to improve my hearing significantly, and also for the appearance.

rydan177 karma

I'm curious about this. So you couldn't hear anything like even if you tapped the side of head or scratched it?

TLJQ179 karma

I just did this and yeah i just realized i could hear from my left side when scratching that area, i probably just didnt realize it 😅

LiveFreeDie859 karma

It could be bone conduction hearing if you only hear when touching the area directly.

I actually know a few people who are near deaf and they didn't know there was such a thing as bone conduction headphones.

You don't need an ear canal or ears to use them. I think that you might not even need eardrums because it uses your skull to produce the vibrations for you to hear. You probably have heard of it before but in case you haven't it would be worth a try.

Something like this, I dk this brand or product so it's just a random example found on Amazon.

https://www.amazon.com/AfterShokz-Conduction-Headphones-Reflective-AS650MB-BR/dp/B07G3JN2JB

TLJQ20 karma

Honestly, thinking about these kind of things makes me think: these devices are afterall electrical devices and all electrical devices will end up spoiling, in that case i might have to continuously replace it over and over again, which might end up costing more than the surgical procedure itself right? But since im already in the middle of the entire procedure, its too late even if i want to start using bone conducting headphones.

Steviebee12317 karma

Have you tried bone conduction headphones? My son has the same condition as you, and he was seemingly able to hear pretty well using bone conduction headphones, but as he is only 4, the headphones won't fit him properly.

Good luck with your surgery. I heard that the process of removing cartilage is really painful - how's it going for you?

TLJQ23 karma

Nope, this is actually the first time i heard of it, but i will search up on it even though its too late. Im pretty much under anesthetic when they are removing the cartilage, it is after the surgery where it hurts like hell, but that period of time is over now, and the incision where the cartilage was removed from has healed.

Ninjaturtlethug290 karma

When people ask a question that you can hear, do you pretend you couldn't hear it?

TLJQ579 karma

Its the opposite actually, when people ask questions and i actually cant hear it i pretend i can understand them, because i am so frustrated with my condition that i do not want to incovenience people by making them continuously repeat their questions.

Ninjaturtlethug98 karma

Well that makes sense, but if it were me, I'd have a little fun with it too, mess with people.

TLJQ187 karma

Ah and because of me pretending to understand their questions i keep ending up giving answers that have zero relations to the questions they ask, pretty embarrassing

LBJsPNS284 karma

Do you find the rest of us a bit eerie?

(Say it aloud. I'll be going now.)

TLJQ94 karma

What do you mean exactly by finding the rest of you eerie?

LBJsPNS187 karma

It's a play on words. Eerie as in eary.

Like I said, I'll see myself out now.

TLJQ216 karma

-.-‘

original_greaser_bob160 karma

Did you know you and Paul Stanley of Kiss had this in common?

TLJQ161 karma

I just searched him up, i never really heard of him until now when you mentioned him. But wow, someone as popular as this had the same condition as me!

VerminSupreme-2020154 karma

i never really heard of him until now

You just made a lot of people feel really old!

TLJQ54 karma

Hahaha it could be because im not from the states, maybe other people of my age who are from the states would know who he is?

Solid_Shnake144 karma

WHATS IT LIKE!?

TLJQ142 karma

Answered it already but here ya go anyway

What is it like? Hmm.. well my hearing is definitely wayyy below average, most of the time, when others can hear someone speaking, i cant. Since young i have definitely been bullied for my condition, but it stopped once i went to college. That fustrates me a lot, hence i decided to take up the surgery despite it getting in the way of my education.

darthbiscuit80101 karma

If someone is talking to you and you’re spinning around in a circle does it sound like this is written?

TLJQ87 karma

Why in the world would i spin around when someone is talking to me, jesus christ! Never did that before but it will probably sound like how that is written

Ooiman41 karma

OP my dude, you should try this with a friend for scientific purposes.

TLJQ22 karma

Nope, not doing that at all, its ridiculous, no.

cat_police_officer24 karma

Don't be mad, he is just joking :)

TLJQ24 karma

Haha i aint mad, i was saying that in a joking way as well

arsenaal59 karma

Is it hard to be social person with that problem or do you try hide it?

TLJQ100 karma

Yes and yes, in my entire life, i have never actually approached someone to socialize with because i was conscious of what they think of my condition, because of that i have a small social circle. All of them were the ones who approached me. In another question i mentioned this, but in public places i always sit at places where my left ear would be the least visible to the public.

Aiku37 karma

How's that Goghing for you?

TLJQ38 karma

No

Aliens2u35 karma

Has it affected your balance any?

TLJQ55 karma

I have read about something like this before, but have never experienced any problems with my balance at all, it could be because i was born with this condition and not lost my hearing. Well who knows?

PyrocynicalIsACunt31 karma

Have you ever been made fun of and how does it feel to the touch?

TLJQ53 karma

Of course, i have been made fun of when i was younger, classmates usually made fun of how i reacted when i could not hear what someone asking and about the fact that i do not have a ear (obviously). How does it feel to the touch? Well originally i only had a weird shaped ear lobe, and it feels exactly like how any other earlobe would feel like.

TrumpsBoneSpur26 karma

How long did it usually take before people noticed "what's different about him"?

TLJQ55 karma

By habit, i always sit in places where my left side is the least visible to the public, so usually people never notices there is something different about me. However, if someone is speaking to me face to face, he/she will immediately notice my left ear. How do i know this? Because i see them, for a split second, shifting their attention to my left ear then back to my eyes. They think i dont notice them doing that but i see it everytime.

DammitDan10 karma

Not that you should, but being that you're self-conscious about it, have you considered growing your hair long?

TLJQ14 karma

Nah, not once have i considered growing my hair long, i AM self consious about it but wouldn’t go to such lengths to hide it

Hamilton950B33 karma

You mean your hair wouldn't go to such lengths to hide it.

TLJQ14 karma

Damn it

BelligerantFuck23 karma

There are dozens of us! I too was born with a malformed ear and no ear canal. I had four reconstructive surgeries when I was 8-9 years old back in 1989-90. They were scared to drill a hole in my head for fear they would hit a nerve that would give me the droopy face similar to a stroke. Therefore I still have zero hearing on that side. Was that concern raised to you by your doctors?

The results after the my first surgery were hideous compared to yours and the end result isn't much better. I'm glad you have benefit of modern science that may give you a presentable ear and the sensation of stereo.

If you have questions or just to share experiences, I'd be happy to answer. I'll never forget the pain of trying to sit up in the hospital bed after the first surgery where they took cartilage from ribs. After reading your AMA I feel like I'm talking to a clone of myself.

TLJQ15 karma

I said it in my post already, but i also had another surgery in 2003 where they actually made a ear canal in my right ear, when i was born my right ear had the shape, but it did not have a ear canal. Since i was a baby back then i do not know whether the doctors from back then had brought this up to my parents, but its pretty surprising how a mere 13 years difference can have such a huge advance. Its still too early for me to share experiences, since im only on the 2nd surgery, which went well without it hurting too much like the first one

abeNH3 karma

I responded above in this thread to say that I also have a deformed ear. What was the higher priority for you: the cosmetic, or the canal? I'm open to talking more in DM if you're interested about our experiences

TLJQ2 karma

Its hard to choose between those two, i would say that both is as equally important as each other.

Mirrirr19 karma

Did someone grow you an ear in a lab from your own tissues? I understand that's been possible for a few years now.

TLJQ27 karma

Haha nope non of the sort. My ear is getting made from scratch, that is why i have to under go 5 separate surgeries

Mirrirr10 karma

https://www.the-scientist.com/the-nutshell/children-receive-bespoke-lab-grown-ears-30354

Maybe shop around? It's still early in development but it's definitely being done. Either way, good luck with the procedure.

TLJQ23 karma

Its already too late though, they pretty much took out a cartilage from my chest and made the shape, thanks!

ghsgjgfngngf15 karma

Couldn't you also say you were born with an ear?

Daddy_010319 karma

That wouldn’t exclude the possibility of having two.

TLJQ12 karma

Welp, there’s the answer

first_redditd13 karma

What would you say to an 8 year old with the same experience? Any advice?

TLJQ30 karma

I don’t really have much advice since there isn’t much you can do about it if your hearing is reduced because of a deformity. But what i can say is that he/she should stay strong, the child would definitely experience more bullying, stares from other people and problems in everyday life. But for sure some day he/she will stop cursing themselves that they were born that way, because these experiences will shape them into a better person.

e13613 karma

To clarify- your right side has a normally working ear? Do you tend to rotate your head to the left so that ear faces forward a bit?

TLJQ14 karma

Yes, my right side has a normally working ear, however now the hearing on the right side is below average, due to me heavily depending on the right ear - for example because i can only put one side of the earpiece i usually put it in a louder volume. Yes i do, only in the case where i cant hear someone clearly.

Babywhale3 karma

Have you considered hearing aids?

TLJQ9 karma

I actually used hearing aids when i was younger, but i juust kept on losing them, and i did not like wearing them since they were so big. My parents respected my choice and stopped buying hearing aids for me.

zdogg4310 karma

I was also born without an ear, on my right side. Mine was a birth defect due to Acutane. I am lucky that’s all is wrong with me. Do you know what caused you to be born without one?

TLJQ7 karma

I have no idea why i was born without one, since i never asked my parents as i was never curious about that haha

cc100036 karma

Have you learned any sign language?

TLJQ13 karma

Nope, have no reason to since i could still hear and speak, just not as clearly as normal people.

eduardocereto6 karma

Can you wear glasses?

TLJQ3 karma

Nope, got no ear for the glasses to hold on to, will always fall on the left side.

eduardocereto3 karma

Maybe you can tape it or some clever hack like that?

TLJQ2 karma

Haha, i dont really need to wear glasses anyways since i have normal sight

jkpeaches5 karma

Hey friend, this is pretty interesting to see, thank you for sharing! My brother was born with Microtia of his right ear, so the outside parts were small and underdeveloped, and there was no hole to get to his inner ear. In the US it would've been wildly cost prohibitive to have anything cosmetic done to repair or help ($40k-$80k out of pocket). Do you guys have amazing insurance or a special doctor advocating for treatment? Or are you not in the US maybe, but either way this is pretty cool to see. I'm stoked to see you and your folks have treatment options in your teens. My brother is in his forties and he's just fine, but I know having it fixed would have been great too. Thanks again for sharing with us!

TLJQ16 karma

Yes! I’m not in the US.

In my country, as long as you are a citizen and is a teenager/elderly, most medical fees would be subsidised. On top of that, this procedure is not really counted as a cosmetic surgery but rather a medical one, because of that part of the cost is also covered by insurance. In us dollars, for every surgery my parents probably pay around 3k.

This is probably why my parents encouraged me to get the surgery earlier, so that i can still qualify for subsidy.

PressTen3 karma

does surgery hurt?

TLJQ10 karma

Man, the first surgery was extremely hellish, because i had surgery on 2 different parts of my body, the left side of my ear and the right side of my chest. Meaning that i could only sleep face up, which was a hard thing to do as i usually sleep on my sides. Trying to move around or get up from bed was also hard as hell, since my chest had an incision, i could not even sleep at all on the first day. Man, words can’t describe that pain. The last surgery i did didn’t really hurt as much, probably because it was more minor.

LindseyLee53 karma

Do doctors know/ have a general idea why your left ear didn’t form?

TLJQ4 karma

They have never mentioned anything about why my ear didn’t form, nor did i ask them (because I’m not really curious). But the performing doctor i have today is definitely different from the doctor i had 16 years ago, who might have explained it to my parents.

Daddy_01033 karma

Why at 17? Was the surgery not permitted before or due to finances or something else?

TLJQ10 karma

According to my parents, it was because i could only get the surgery from the age of 15, but at that age i didnt want to do it because well, it was too sudden and i was not prepared, for a good 2 years i came to realise that i had to take the surgery sooner or later.

LilGl1tch3 karma

Did you get to pick what your new ear is going to look like or did the doctors have some kind of strategy to pick it for you?

TLJQ7 karma

It would be weird if both of my ears looked different from each other right? So the doctors tried their best to make my left ear look as similar as possible to my right. I just have to wait and see the final results.

Tigersnap0272 karma

Do you think that going through all the surgeries you've had, and are planning to still have, is worth it for the expected results?

TLJQ3 karma

I guess its worth it. Going through all this will give me a easier life in the future, since i won’t be constantly be stared at in public (at one point a kid just went around the bus stop to look at my ear ;-;) and also, i will be able to hear significantly better, even if it’s not as good as normal people.

CapnClusterFuq2 karma

Is it difficult wearing sunglasses?

TLJQ2 karma

I just don’t. Since i don’t really require sunglasses.

bojankins2 karma

Do you just tell people you do Jiujitsu?

TLJQ2 karma

Why would i do that? 🤔

being_paul2 karma

How did your parents support you throughout your years? How would you have liked to be treated?

TLJQ5 karma

They have never brought up anything regarding my ear other than the surgeries throughout my life, I think that they have treated me just like how any other parents would treat their child, and i am just satisfied with that.

NicolaiOlesen2 karma

Can you use bone conduction headphones? Seeing as regular headphones rely on your ear drum and bone conduction headphones don’t. Could you use those before surgery?

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.soundguys.com/bone-conduction-headphones-20580/amp/

TLJQ2 karma

I didnt bother to, since normal headphones could do the job for me.

1bad_hombre2 karma

My son has microtia in one ear. What would you have wanted from your parents growing up?

TLJQ2 karma

From young, i have always kept the situation about me getting bullied by classmates from my parents, even when they constantly asked if i get bullied. Because i was more afraid of my parents calling the school and getting the bullies in trouble, if that happened, the bullying would probably get worse than before. I have always wanted to talk to my parents about the bullying, but just could not because of that. Maybe when you talk to your son about bullies tell him that you would not call the school. If he does not tell you about the bullies himself, and you have to ask him about it, then he would be in the same situation as me. Another thing i was satisfied with was my parents treating me just like they would treat a normal child, meaning, don’t treat him better just because he has microtia.

raysawma2 karma

How is it like?

TLJQ6 karma

How is it like? Hmm.. well my hearing is definitely wayyy below average, most of the time, when others can hear someone speaking, i cant. Since young i have definitely been bullied for my condition, but it stopped once i went to college. That fustrates me a lot, hence i decided to take up the surgery despite it getting in the way of my education.

TheVoiceInWadesHead2 karma

Do you paint?

TLJQ7 karma

Don’t worry, zero traces of Van Gogh in me

JackDaw10121 karma

Have you ever try to hide it from someone? What do people usually say when see your ears at first time?

TLJQ2 karma

I do hide it from the public, but if someone talks to me face to face, i never try to hide it. Most people never says anything when they see my ear, but when they do its all the same question: ‘Sorry but.. can i ask what happened to your left ear?’

joojie1 karma

Do you have all of the normal inner ear structures? Everything past the ear drum?

TLJQ3 karma

I have no idea about that .-. I don’t have a ear canal, so doctors won’t know if i have normal inner ear structures until they make a ear canal. However, my right ear is normal.

Macluawn1 karma

How do you wear glasses for 3d movies?

TLJQ2 karma

I have not gone for 3d movies in like years, but when i did, i always held up the left side of the glasses, not that tiring since movie theatres has arm rests

axel21911 karma

Is this hemifacial microsomia?

TLJQ1 karma

Nope, it is Microtia.

CmdrNorthpaw1 karma

After the surgery, did you have to go around with your face wrapped in bandages like people with facelifts do?

TLJQ2 karma

Nope, after the surgery, the doctors encouraged me to not put any form of bandage over my ear, so i moved around with it completely exposed!

Jumlee771 karma

Is sound muffled?

TLJQ1 karma

Nope, sound is not muffled in my left ear, can hear pretty clearly if i use headphones.

Positiveone11 karma

Can they grow an ear on a rat and attach it for aesthetic purposes?

TLJQ2 karma

Have no idea about that kind of stuff, but the way they did it for me was by taking out a cartilage from my chest area and shaped it into a ear.

747excalibur1 karma

Do you get offended if someone gives you a wet willy?

TLJQ2 karma

Never got a wet willy before haha, actually had to search that up

madddskillz1 karma

Do you still get earwax? And is it similar to the other ear if so?

TLJQ3 karma

I have no ear canal on my left side, so of course, i wouldn’t have any earwax

Spykez01291 karma

Did you hate the Verizon commercial when he asked if you could hear him now?

TLJQ2 karma

Don’t live in the us, don’t have a telecom called Verizon, so have never seen the ad you are describing .-.

Spykez01291 karma

Oh. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lo0xsZCRp4g

+ 1 because you clearly have a sense of humor reading some of the other comments. Have a good day sir!

TLJQ2 karma

Don’t really feel offended by it since i have heard things similar to it when classmates made fun of me pretty unbothered by it since all that bullying made me mentally stronger

waqasvic1 karma

Do you get tinnitus?

TLJQ1 karma

I do, actually, from time to time. Pretty annoying since whenever i get tinnitus i end up being unable to hear anything since my hearing is already reduced drastically.

kryptonz1231 karma

What are one of the most common problems you face on a daily basis?

TLJQ2 karma

One of the most common problems? Hearing of course, extremely big problem on top of all the staring and all. When other people can normally hear something, i wouldn’t be able to.

87917819271 karma

What does it feel like having it sealed up like that?

TLJQ1 karma

It just feels normal, i was born like that, so i never actually felt any difference

BeatsFromTheFuture1 karma

Have you read think and grow rich? The book talks about the authors son who grew up with no ear

TLJQ1 karma

Probably won’t, because i’m not really the type of person who reads books.. will probably fall asleep after reading 2 pages

pocketbullets1 karma

Does it ooze wax?

TLJQ2 karma

Nope, i don’t have a ear canal at all, so its’s basically sealed up

BrokenGothDoll1 karma

What's your favourite biscuit?

TLJQ2 karma

Oreos.

Open_Power1 karma

are your other senses heightened?

TLJQ1 karma

Haha, those kinds of tv shows you see are just nonsensical, so no, my other senses aren’t heightened.

NodoBird1 karma

How much do you save on Q-tips?

TLJQ1 karma

Tbh i would probably not use them even if i had 2 ears. Reason being i’m too lazy to clean my ears, usually the doctors are the ones that remove all that ear wax.

NodoBird1 karma

Semi-unrelated: what's your favorite song?

TLJQ2 karma

I want it that way by Backstreet Boys

Zer_01 karma

Forgive the personal question: Ears are Erogenous zones. Have you ever felt comfortable letting a SO kiss your ear? how did it feel compared to your other ear?

TLJQ3 karma

I’m single 😞

Zer_03 karma

Well flag this comment and let me know once you get your smooch on after surgery.

I’d offer to smooch, but I’m married and old enough to be your mom. 😚

Motherly Smooch

TLJQ3 karma

Haha, that will be a looooooong time, can only get 1 surgery every 3 months and i still have 3 more to go !

Afafakja1 karma

Do you like ASMR?

TLJQ1 karma

Yeaap, rely on asmr to fall asleep most of the time.

Airazz1 karma

YES I KNOW THAT IT IS ‘AN’ EAR OKAY I CAN’T CHANGE THE TITLE NOW!!!

Could you at least change the text in your submission just like you added this line, you maniac?

TLJQ1 karma

Whoopsies, changed it

zelcor1 karma

Where's your missing ear?

TLJQ2 karma

Only god knows where it went

Ehelio1 karma

Is there any question that bothers you the most about that?

TLJQ1 karma

No, there isn’t! That is why i started this Ask me ANYTHING, so i can satisfy other people’s curiosity!

Worfsfeatherduster0 karma

Do you tip over?

TLJQ1 karma

Tip over? Because of balance issues? In another similar question, i mentioned that i never had any issues with balance.

CleanReserve40 karma

So the canals were missing, but eardrums and nerves are there?

TLJQ1 karma

Answered this already, here’s a copy paste from before

I have no idea about that .-. I don’t have a ear canal, so doctors won’t know if i have normal inner ear structures until they make a ear canal. However, my right ear is normal.

strawberri_pao0 karma

When somebody tries to show you music with sharing their earphones, do you have to request for the right earphones or do they usually remember?

TLJQ1 karma

Sometimes they do end up passing me the left side earphones, i just wear them anyways :3

jimmycarr10 karma

What's the most significant body part you would swap to give yourself another ear, if you had to?

TLJQ1 karma

If i had to do something like that, i’d rather not. I can still hear since i have my right ear, isn’t really worth it to give up another body part for one more year IMO.

ThracDivergente-1 karma

If i ask, you'll hear me?

TLJQ1 karma

Yeap, i can hear you if u say something to me irl, since i can still hear.

Gayatri-Mantra-2 karma

Did you also have heart problems and part of your esophagus missing?

TLJQ1 karma

Nope i don’t, why would i have those problems? 🤔