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Is there a link between CF and problems with articulation?
A direct link between cystic fibrosis and articulation problems cannot be found. Children with CF do not differ from healthy children concerning development of language and speech.
The disease and its treatment can however indirectly influence speech or voice to some degree. Children with CF very often have chronic infection in the nose and sinuses characterized by chronic nasal obstruction and the development of nasal polyps. This can result in ‘nasal sounding speech’. Long standing nasal obstruction may also result in blocking of the Eustachian tube, collection of fluid in the middle ear and some hearing deficit. Decreased hearing may hamper the normal development of language and speech in young children. Medication administered by inhalation may be the cause of hoarseness, although this side effect is rare and mostly transient. It has for example been reported with the use of DNAse. Worries or stress due the disease and/ or its treatment might theoretically trigger stuttering. There are however no data suggesting that stuttering is more common in children with CF compared to the general population.
To get back to your question: most speech and articulation problems are not linked to cystic fibrosis, especially if they concerns logopedic or articulation problems. Consulting an ear- nose-throat specialist and paying attention to nasal obstruction and hearing tests may be useful. We hope this response clarifies some issues for you. All the best!
M. Proesmans, K. De Boeck, F. Vermeulen, L. Dupont