You'll find hundreds of files on cleft lip, cleft palate here on widesmiles.org.
This one is about: Pop Goes the Pressure
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POP GOES THE PRESSURE
Dr John Canady of Iowa offers the following suggestions concerning what can be done to alleviate the build up of pressure in the ears of cleft-affected children:
If your child has continual problems with ear infections it is probably due to inadequate function of the Eustachian Tubes, causing negative pressure to build up behind the eardrum. Ear infections generally start with negative pressure, which causes fluid to develop and then the fluid gets infected. "Auto-insufflation", or Ear Popping, can effectively prevent the formation of fluid and greatly reduce or eliminate the chances of infection.
Auto-insufflation is a legitimate technique worthy of a trial. Most people can only generate about 1/3 the amount of pressure necessary to harm the middle ear with their attempt at popping, so there is little danger of damage to the ear (When there is any doubt, consult your own physician).
One trick is to let the kids blow up balloons. This may help to make their ears pop and release the built-up pressure. Of course, you should not do this with little children who may aspirate the balloon if it suddenly deflates.
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