Ear Nose & Throat Service (ENT)

Cleft lip or palate and hearing loss

This page gives parents and carers information about cleft lip and/or palate and hearing loss. It also gives details about the BAHA bone conduction hearing solution.


The importance of hearingShow [+]Hide [-]

Hearing is essential to childhood learning and language development. If your child has a cleft lip and/or palate, there is increased risk of middle-ear problems that can cause conductive hearing loss.

The inner-ear usually functions normally in children with a cleft lip and/or palate, and with a little help, they may hear virtually unimpaired – and develop just as well as their friends.

Help is availableShow [+]Hide [-]

A particular concern for children with a cleft lip and/or palate is fluid build-up in the middle ear, as the muscles that open the Eustachian tube often lack anchoring due to the cleft palate.

Because the BAHA System never obstructs the ear canal, these discharges are allowed to dry properly, reducing the risk of further infections. With a BAHA System, your child gets a solution proven to work well in children with a cleft lip and/or palate.

Early interventionShow [+]Hide [-]

Children with a cleft lip and/or palate are known to be at risk for speech, language, social and academic difficulties.

In various studies, children with a cleft lip and/or palate have shown low achievement scores. It’s so important to give your child access to improved hearing because language development is a cornerstone of the healthy and fulfilled life that all parents want for their children.

Hearing with a BAHA SystemShow [+]Hide [-]

The BAHA System makes use of the body’s natural ability to hear sound through vibrations. To bypass the problems in the middle ear common to cleft lip and/or palate, BAHA sends sound through the bone directly to the functioning inner ear. In other words, it reroutes the sound – naturally.

Find out moreShow [+]Hide [-]

To find out how to gain better access to hearing you should contact your GP to arrange a referral to us.

You can find out more about the Newcastle BAHA Centre.

You can also find out more about cleft lip and palate.

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