Why Do Some People Have a Tiny Hole Outside Ear? – WhatWhenWhy

Have you ever seen a person with a tiny hole outside ear where face and cartilage meet? This hole can be located anywhere adjust to the external ear. It’s known by the name Preauricular pit, congenital preauricular fistula or ear pit.

This is not something serious and a total of 0.3% to 0.5% population is born with this condition. This malformation occurs due to faulty fusion during the development phase of the ear. It happens when the child is in the womb so it’s a congenital condition present from the birth.

This condition alone is harmless but can cause infection. it is also linked with permanent hearing impairment among kids. The prevalence of  hearing impairment among kids with ear pits is higher than kids without ear pits. The ratio is 8 in 1000 to 1.5 in 1000. Other abnormalities include narrow ear canal, small size and asymmetry.

The ear pit is lined with skin cells and is prone to infection and getting blocked. An infected ear pit has symptoms of redness, itching, pain, swelling and leaking puss.

An evolutionary biologists has suggests that these ear pits could be evolutionary remnants of fish gills. This is currently a theory and has not been scientifically prove.

Let us know if any of you are born with ear pits?

References: Business Insider

tiny hole outside ear