What is National Microtia Awareness Day? How can audiologists support this initiative?
Melissa Tumblin: National Microtia Awareness Day is November 9th each year in the United States. It started in 2016. The purpose of National Microtia Awareness Day to help promote public awareness of microtia and atresia. As the mother of a child who has microtia, and the founder of Ear Community, my hope is that families who have new babies born with microtia will leave the hospital armed with more answers than questions, and their dreams for their children intact. If more people learn about microtia and atresia, they will be kinder and more accepting. It is also my goal for people with microtia to realize that they are not alone. Through this national day, they can find out about organizations and resources for information and support.
To support National Microtia Awareness Day, audiologists can educate themselves on this topic. Microtia and atresia are relatively rare, and audiologists may have learned in school may be outdated. Get up to speed on the causes of microtia and atresia, treatments, and the psychosocial impact on patients and families. Ear Community is a great place to start and there are many other helpful resources available. Companies who offer bone anchored solutions such as Oticon Medical, Cochlear, Medtronic and MED-EL, provide information on their websites and may also have online courses on AudiologyOnline. Audiologists should educate their staff and referral sources about microtia and atresia. Medical and health professionals can show their support to all of the individuals who are born with microtia and atresia by simply blogging about it or making a "we celebrate National Microtia and Atresia Awareness Day" post on their websites and in social media. Lack of information is still a problem at many medical facilities when it comes to helping families and providing resources for children who are born with microtia and atresia. While National Microtia Awareness Day is recognized in the United States, Ear Community's website is translatable in over fifty different languages, so everyone around the world can access the information, resources and support that is available.
Thank you for supporting National Microtia Awareness Day on November 9!