Down Syndrome

Pediatric Ear, Nose & Throat problems are common in kids with Down Syndrome because of their facial structure, narrow ear canals and weak immune system. While no one knows for certain what causes Down Syndrome, it’s important for parents to realize the health risks associated with a Downs diagnosis and proactively work to prevent many of the common issues that can arise.

Symptoms & Causes

When you first meet with your child’s pediatric ENT doctor, he or she might go over many of the common problems that relate to Downs Syndrome. These can include chronic ear infections, upper respiratory tract infections, sinus problems, airway obstruction and sleep problems. There is no one-size-fits-all solution to any of the problems. You and your child’s doctor should discuss all the options if these issues become debilitating for your son or daughter. Sometimes surgery can be the best option while a quick in-office procedure or medication might be the better route.

Hearing loss can also be a big concern for newborn babies. The American Academy of Pediatrics and Down Syndrome Medical Interest Group recommend audiologic testing every six months up to the age of three. Because educational, language and emotional development are so fragile in children with Downs, and because the ability to hear is extremely critical in this area, even mild hearing loss should be treated immediately.

Diagnosis & Treatment

The diagnosis of a child with Down Syndrome should be performed by a pediatrician or OB/GYN doctor who orders a chromosome test to confirm. Your ENT doctor can work with your child’s pediatrician to further diagnose and treat conditions relating to the syndrome.

Prevention

Oftentimes parents can take proactive steps in the medical areas where home remedies are available. Chronic sinusitis, airway problems and chronic ear infections have simple, and easy preventative tips you can take at home to reduce the risk of infection and infirmity.

Further Reading

National Down Syndrome Society