Ear, nose and voice problems in children with orofacial clefts

I Hocevar-Boltezar, A Jarc, V Kozelj
Journal of Laryngology and Otology 2006, 120 (4): 276-81
The purpose of this study was to compare the prevalence of ear, nose and particularly voice problems in groups of children with cleft palate (CP) and with unilateral cleft lip, alveolus and palate (UCLP). On the basis of history, regular otorhinolaryngological examinations and hearing tests, the prevalence of different pathologies was assessed in 80 CP children (35 boys and 45 girls) and 73 UCLP children (47 boys and 26 girls). Ear pathology was reported in 53.8 per cent of CP children and in 58.9 per cent of UCLP children. Nasal breathing was impaired in 14 CP (17.5 per cent) and 36 UCLP (49.3 per cent) children. Dysphonia was detected in 12.5 per cent of CP and 12.3 per cent of UCLP children. In 9.2 per cent of all cleft children, functional voice disorder caused a hoarse voice. Two-thirds of cleft children with functional dysphonia had protracted hearing loss. Therefore, ENT specialists must take an active role early in the treatment of children with clefts.

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