Pregnancy is both a wonderful and stressful time for a new mother. Being responsible for another person, trying to teach that person how to be a good person, are enough to cause more anxiety than is healthy in a pregnant woman. Then add in worrying about whether the baby will be born healthy or not and sleepless nights are to be expected. Health problems in children are, of course, scary for the parents and they can have long ranging effects, so understand them is important. Some of the most common issues for kids are ear nose and throat, or ent, issues. Of those, here are three of the more common ent problems that a parent might have to face.
- Cleft Palate: This is a birth defect that, along with a cleft lip, is one of the most common in the United States, with an estimated 2,650 infants born with cleft palate and 4,440 with cleft lip born every year. The cause is unknown, believed possibly to be a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Cleft lip repair usually us performed in the first few months and recommended before the baby is a year. Cleft palate repair should be done before the 18 month mark, and preferably much earlier. If cleft palate repair is left undone, children can experience many negative effects, such as difficulty feeding, ear infections and speech abnormalities.
- Hearing Loss: This can be present at birth or develop later. When not a birth defect, often it is the result of ear infections As a result, suspected ear infections in infants and children should be addressed by their pediatrician.
- Obstructive Sleep Problems: Often characterized by snoring, diagnosis of sleep apnea in children has been on the rise. These range from the mild to those that need surgical treatment.
The prospect of a child with a birth defect or later health issues does not need to be a paralyzing one for parents. Often, such health problems can be fixed, such as with cleft palate repair, or possibly prevented, such as with cases of hearing loss resulting from ear infections. Either way, with the help of an appropriate medical practitioner, the medical issues discussed here can be successfully managed.