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Ear Guide:


Recent research shows that in the dysmorphic features in some children with an anti-Convulsant-Syndrome, can result in Ear Malformations,  describe a wide range of birth defects that affect a baby's ears and occur while your baby is developing in the uterus. The potential will be seen in other parts of the baby's body in those organs that are developing during the same time as the ears, that are also affected by congenital malformations.If these are identified the paediatrician will carefully examine your baby for related problems including the middle and inner ears.  It is because of this that many who work within audiology/ENT/otology are not always aware of some of the basic care needs of these children. Malformations can present, to a greater or lesser degree, which can generate and enhance ear problems. As a parent it is important to make sure that you have enough understanding in order to ensure your child has their needs met. 


Diagram of the inside ear of most people:

New-born hearing screening process:

Today all new-born babies are screened for hearing loss at birth in order to identify those that may need extra care. Within the criteria of those that will need follow up is: Dysmorphic Features. Dysmorphic Features are a key part of the diagnosis of a child with Fetal Anti-Conlvulsant syndrome.  


If you have any concerns about your child's ear health and hearing, do not hesitate to contact a professional. 


Glue Ear:

It has been noted in research studies that there is between a 10 – 33% of a higher incidence of glue ear.  This is a problem that can be enhanced by middle and inner ear malformations and poor muscle tone.  If this is a problem that occurs alongside of chronic otitis media, make sure that your child is flagged as having potential serious complications. 


Cleaning the Ears:

Due to possible long term problems, it is recommended that your child does not have their ears syringed; more so if they have

  • Chronic Otitis Media

  • Congenital Malformations in the middle and inner ears.


Conductive Hearing Loss:

Middle and inner ear malformations can lead to wax blocking the ear canal.   This results in sound being blocked by wax so that hearing becomes more difficult.  If your child is prone to this, they will need to have their ears micro suctioned, syringing is not appropriate for a child with fetal anti-convulsant syndrome.


Eustachian Tube Dysfunction:

Eustachian tube dysfunctions do mean that the pressure of the middle ear is unable to equalise with atmospheric pressure, sometimes causing a muffling of one’s hearing, and causing the ear pain that so many children complain of.  Headaches and facial pain can also be put down to this.


As a child grows ear concerns can improve; however if your child is one that has the above complications they will need to be monitored.


If you are not sure about your child’s hearing and have concerns you can try shaking a rattle out of view to see if your child responds.  If you are still concerned it is important to contact your GP so that your child can receive a hearing test.


OACS have an information sheet about the ears for professionals, when needed.

The OACS Guide To The Ears is a book suitable for not only chidlren with Fetal Anti-Convulsant Syndrome, but for any child with dysmpmorphic Features.  contact OACS for more information.

Feel free to down load these guidelines

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