Cleft hearing. Most infants and young children with cleft palate have problems with ventilating ("popping") their middle ears. The middle ear fills with fluid and the child hears what we hear under water: that is not good for someone developing speech and language. Also bacteria like to grow in middle ear fluid and the infection can destroy the middle ear hearing apparatus. Normal speech needs normal hearing.
Fluid in middle ear. Infants with cleft palate are way more susceptible to develop an ear infection and most of them has fluid accumulated in their middle ear. They often require to have ''tube" in their ears to drain fluid out to maintain normal hearing.
Hearing loss. 50-90% of children with cleft palate are susceptible to persistent middle ear infections or fluid which may cause conductive hearing loss. Chl may cause speech and language delays, which, in turn, may cause language -based learning disabilities. Close monitoring of hearing helps your child's ENT doctor to know if/when to place " pe tubes" in the eardrums to help preserve hearing.