You'll find hundreds of files on cleft lip, cleft palate here on widesmiles.org.
This one is about: Why Cleft Kids get More Ear Infections and Need Tubes
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Why Cleft Kids get more Ear Infections and Need Tubes
Ear infection DOES have to do with the muscles that control the eustachian tubes. True, you can have ear infections and no cleft, and the problem is still going to be very much the same - poor or no drainage from the Eustachian tubes. Just because the cleft does not extend to the palate does not mean they are not affected. It all happens at the same time during gestation. At the time the obicularis muscle was not joining up, many times the other muscles that make up the oral structures are not making the proper connections either. But in some cases, the problem is "fixed" naturally in the next 4 weeks, and the palate is not cleft. Yet the eustachian tubes still are unable to drain the fluid properly from the middle ear. It's simple mechanics. If they can't drain one way, we give them the opportunity to drain another. And that is where a myringotomy with tubes comes in.
Ear infections are the result of poor drainage. Poor drainage leads to a build-up of fluid. When bacteria grows in that fluid then an infection occurs. If there is no release the infection will burst -- either out the eardrum, or into the brain. Encephalitis can occur if the infection bursts toward the brain. If the eustachian tubes are not working properly, tubes are a must - not only to improve hearing and to relieve pain, but also to prevent potential tragedy.
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