Ears cannot be made physically smaller without surgery. Ears are made from cartilage that alters with age and can actually become bigger the older a person becomes. Genetics also play a strong part in determining the shape and size of ears.
Ears can be hidden under hats, headscarves or long hair if a person is self-conscious about them but only surgery will visibly reduce their size. This is because the cartilage and soft tissue within the outer ear ensures it maintains its shape. Although large ears do not pose a health risk to a person, they can often cause psychological distress because of self-consciousness or bullying about their appearance. Speaking to a counselor or psychologist can really someone come to terms with cosmetic worries.
Surgical ear reshaping, also known as otoplasty, is generally a safe procedure with common side effects resulting in sore or bruised ears for a few weeks. Recovery time is usually fast, even with general anesthetic. During this time it is important that the wound is kept clean and dry. This surgery can take place at any age but is only recommended for children over 5 years of age as a child's cartilage before age 5 is too soft.