What are the possible otolaryngologic complications of Down syndrome?

Updated: May 18, 2020
  • Author: Gratias Tom Mundakel, MBBS, DCH; Chief Editor: Maria Descartes, MD  more...
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Hearing loss can occur in 40-75% of individuals with Down syndrome. Newborns with Down syndrome have a high incidence of congenital hearing loss. Many children experience recurrent ear infections or persistent middle ear effusions, probably caused by midfacial hypoplasia. Early and aggressive treatment of chronic ear disease can greatly reduce hearing loss in children with Down syndrome. Sinusitis and nasopharyngitis may occur secondary to narrow nasal passages and sinuses. Obstructive sleep apnea may develop secondary to enlarged tonsils or to other causes of upper airway obstruction.

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