Potential complications of Stickler syndrome include:

  • Difficulty breathing or feeding. Breathing or feeding difficulties may occur in babies born with an opening in the roof of the mouth (cleft palate), a small lower jaw and a tendency for the tongue to drop back toward the throat.
  • Blindness. Blindness can occur if glaucoma or cataracts go untreated or if retinal detachments aren't repaired promptly.
  • Ear infections. Children with facial structure abnormalities associated with Stickler syndrome are more likely to develop ear infections than are children with normal facial features.
  • Deafness. Hearing loss may worsen with time and a small percentage of people with Stickler syndrome eventually become completely deaf.
  • Heart problems. Some people with Stickler syndrome may be at higher risk of heart valve problems.
  • Dental problems. Most children who have Stickler syndrome have abnormally small jaws, so there often isn't enough room for the full complement of adult teeth. Braces or, in some cases, dental surgeries may be necessary.
Jan. 28, 2014