Lots of kids with Down syndrome have a close relationship with a pediatric ENT doc (aka, otolaryngologist... can anyone actually pronounce that?). Micah's ENT explained it this way: One of the physical traits of individuals with Down syndrome is a sort of flat face. That results in less space on the inside. So their nasal passages are more narrow, along with their ear canals (and less room for their tongue to hang out in their mouth, I think, but don't quote me on that one).
Micah has been fortunate to not need ear tubes. In general, he hasn't had any more ear infections that a typical kid. But his sinuses... that's another issue. Last July (2010) Micah had a sleep study. He would not allow ANYTHING on his head, so we really didn't get much out of the study except that they determined that he did not have obstructive sleep apnea. The did record 30 awakenings. But it wasn't enough for anyone to recommend a tonsillectomy. Ugh.
Micah is a crummy sleeper. Always has been. But when he's sick... it's awful. Micah has been on antibiotics for a sinus infection for 3 weeks (first course of 10 days resulted in a return of the goopy eyes, etc., just 24 hours later, so we're on round 2 now). He can barely breathe overnight. We give him a decongestant and spray lots of saline, but it doesn't do much good. I discussed this with Micah's pediatrician today. She said his tonsils look ENORMOUS (no surprise), and given his symptoms, she thinks there's a lingering issue with his adenoids (adenoiditis) due to the sinus infection.
So... MAYBE this will be our ticket to a tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy. We got in fairly quickly (next Wed.) to see his ENT. Micah's ped said that his ENT doc is one of the few that does a partial tonsillectomy, which results in a quicker recovery and is less painful.
When Micah is sick (like he is right now), his eating gets even worse than normal. He gets gaggy (because there isn't room in the back of his mouth to handle the food?). I've heard that *some* kids' eating gets worse after a tonsillectomy because they can't manage food is a LARGER area back there. Personally, it's a risk I'm willing to take because it's not as if is eating is stellar NOW.
(do I need to post about his eating, or lack thereof, or are you, my readers, sick of hearing about my frustrations with my tube-fed kid?)