Evaluation of Effectivity in Individual Hearing Perception of Hypernasality in Adults Patients with Cleft Palate
Introduction: In Brazil, there are estimates of cleft palate occurrence in 1/650 individuals born alive. Beyond the esthetics changes, this abnormalities also affects chewing, deglutition, speaking functions, and especially the voice. Furthermore, when the velopharyngeal sphincter closure is compromised, we find nasality excesses in the voice production, which affects the speech understanding even more. Around 20 to 30% of the patients after palatoplasty present different levels of velopharyngeal sphincter dysfunction that results in speech production changes. The speech therapy, despite its importance, in serious cases does not demonstrate enough sufficiency to improve the speaking, and for the voice of patients it is necessary to use the palatal obturators to help the velopharyngeal sphincter dysfunction.
Objective: The study aimed to compare improvements in individual hearing perception of hypernasality with the use of palatal obturators in adult patients with cleft palate.
Methods: From 20 patients with cleft palate after palatoplasty, with at least 6-months speech therapy and with the indication of palatal obturators, individual hearing perception evaluation was carried out with nasofibrolaryngoscopy examination support.
Result: After installing the palatal obturators in relation to the hearing perception, 30% had no hypernasality improvement; however, 5% did improve but they could not recognize their own improvement. In the remaining 65% of the patients, there was associated reduction of the hypernasality with real scape nasality.
Conclusion: A better hypernasality evaluation should be the one done with nasofibrolaryngoscopy. The patient’s individual hearing perception is not reliable.
Keywords: cleft palate, palatal obturators.