Good hearing is necessary to the overall health of any child. However, if not treated properly, unmanaged hearing loss in children can affect their speech, educational development, and self-image. Children who are born with a cleft may experience more hearing problems than others. In some cases of a cleft palate, the muscles of soft palate may not function normally. This might allow fluid to accumulate in the middle ear, causing ear infections that can affect hearing.
During your child's first visit to the UI Health Craniofacial Center, our audiologist will perform simple, painless tests on your child's hearing. These tests can be performed even if your child is an infant and can continue to be performed occasionally over the next few years to make sure their hearing remains normal.
If an ear infection develops, your pediatrician can prescribe antibiotics to treat the condition. However, if infections become common, PE tubes may need to be places in your child's ears to help with hearing.
Since hearing and speech development are so closely related, both our audiologist and speech-language pathologist will work closely together to ensure that your child's hearing is monitored so that speech develops normally.