Children who have cleft palates are at a much greater risk of developing ear infections because a cleft palate can often impact the function of the Eustachian tubes and the middle ear. Sometimes small ventilation tubes are inserted in the eardrum to permit drainage and improve air circulation. Parents should discuss this with an ear, nose and throat surgeon. This is a very minor procedure that can be done during the cleft palate surgery or afterwards.
Most children, as they get older, require additional surgeries to reshape the nose, lip, gums and palate until they are in their early 20s.
Most children with cleft lip and/or palate develop normal speech once their palate is closed, but a significant amount will need further surgery, speech therapy or assistance to improve their speech from communication problems such as language delay, articulation problems, hypernasality and voice problems.
Learn more from these links about speech therapy, orthodontics, follow-up surgery and other potential treatment needs.
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