Have you ever wondered why some people have a tiny extra hole in their ear? Well, this is a congenital imperfection called preauricular sinus. This imperfection is not harmful in itself, it can be susceptible to infection.
Neil Shubin, an evolutionary biologist speculated that the holes could be an “evolutionary remnant of fish gills.” However, this theory has not been scientifically validated.
The extra tiny hole usually develops during the fetus’ sixth week. It is also a hereditary.
“These tiny holes in the ear are located near the front of the ear and mark the entrance to a sinus tract that may travel under the skin near the ear cartilage,” explained by online health resource Medscape.
Checking for a prearicular sinus is part of newborn assessment. The main problem with the tiny hole is that they can lead to benign cysts or infections. Antibiotics are prescribed for mild infections, surgery for chronic ones.
There aren’t that many people who have a tiny hole. Studies show that the condition is most common among those of African or Asian descent. The holes are often on the ear’s external part, but a few are inward.
A study published in the Korean Journal of Audiology reveals that 4 to 10 percent of the population in Asia and parts of Africa have this tiny extra hole in their ear.