This condition is present in up to 5% of the population. There two main causes of prominent ears. Absence of the antihelical fold and enlargement of the conchal bowl. Simply put, if one of the folds of ear cartilage is not present, the ear can look like it is protruding outward or forward. This is a simple problem that can often be corrected with a relatively simple and safe procedure.The procedure is called an otoplasty and can often be done in the office or, in some young patients, in an operating room.