Cleft Lip: Speech and Hearing Problems are Possible

Topamax is a highly effective consumer medication used for the treatment of migraines and seizures. Although it is necessary for people to seek relief, it is crucial that all potential side effects are known before taking certain pharmaceutical drugs. Topamax has recently been linked to certain birth defects when taken by women during their pregnancy. Cleft lip and cleft palate are potential birth defects associated with Topamax use, and can be very harmful to newborn babies.

Children may Need Medical Treatment for Speech and Hearing Issues

new jersey philadelphia birth injury attorneys Cleft Lip Speech Hearing ProblemsCleft lips and palates have the potential to harmfully affect the ability of children to hear. A tympanostomy tube is usually inserted into a young child’s eardrum in order to aerate the middle ear. This tube often allows for children to have improved hearing and provides other significant benefits. Babies who suffer from cleft palate may have a number of speech problems. Some speech problems develop directly as a result of anatomical differences due to the birth defect. An example of an anatomical difference that could cause trouble is velopharyngeal inadequacy, which is the inability of the soft palate to shut the opening from the throat to the nasal cavity. Velopharyngeal inadequacy makes it difficult for children to make many speech sounds as the soft palate is integral to this function. These types of errors are somewhat common and can be corrected after palate repair.

In other cases, children with cleft lip and cleft palate may have speech errors which result from an attempt to over compensate for the inability to produce the target phoneme. Known as compensatory articulations, these sounds are usually non-existent in normal English phonology. Palate repair is usually not the answer to solving these sorts of issues and it may worsen the speech, making it even harder to understand. Speech pathology can be very helpful in resolving some problems with speech, and parents should seek medical advice as soon as possible.

Cleft Lip Attorneys in New Jersey and Philadelphia

If your child was born with a birth defect, such as cleft lip or cleft palate, it is possible that you have some questions regarding your use of Topamax during pregnancy. Please contact the Mininno Law Office for a free case evaluation, or call for a free consultation at (856) 833-0600 in New Jersey, or (215) 567-2380 in Philadelphia.