Going Undiagnosed: 6 Illnesses Your Doctor May Miss During Your Infant’s Checkup

Infants can’t express exactly how they are feeling, and this means that medical issues being misdiagnosed or not diagnosed at all is a constant possibility. Over the years, however, specialists have been able to narrow down many of the most commonly-undiagnosed medical issues for infants. Here is a closer look at six that every parent should know about.

1. Epilepsy

Babies can have seizures for a wide variety of reasons, and this is what makes epilepsy so difficult to diagnose. Parents that notice their infant staring into the distance, going limp, or not responding to stimuli should record the behavior if possible as well as immediately speak with their doctor. In some instances, doctors that have performed thorough testing may at the very least be able to rule out epilepsy and narrow down what the problem may be.

2. GERDs

Reflux and spitting up is a common action for every baby, but GERDs may be taking place if this happens chronically or every time the child is fed. GERD is a condition in which the sphincter just below the throat cannot properly operate to keep food down and is often misdiagnosed as generic colic due to fussiness and crying. It is often nothing more than a minor change to the infant’s diet or sleeping habits that will help to alleviate the symptoms.

3. Whooping Cough

Whooping Cough, also referred to as Pertusis, is on the rise despite a new vaccine having been released in the 1990s. According to the CDC, morbidity rates for this bacterial infection have moved past 27,000 per year and it is often misdiagnosed as asthma or a viral infection with similar symptoms. All parents should speak to their doctor about Whooping Cough to see what vaccination options may be available to them as well as to carry out thorough testing.

4. Strep Throat

When a younger child reports a fever or difficulty breathing they will almost always be given an immediate strep test by their doctor. Unfortunately, when infants display these symptoms doctors could mix it up with the countless other similar infections and illnesses. Requesting an extra swab test during the checkup is always a good option for parents.

5. Congenital Eye Problems

The key to fixing congenital eye problems in an infant is to catch these medical issues as early as possible. These problems can range from defects of the globe to late eye maturation, and catching them early on will allow a specialist to provide more comprehensive and effective options. The longer that many of these issues go on, the higher the chance of more pervasive or permanent damage taking place around the iris, cornea, retinal, pupil, and eyelids.

6. Hearing Loss

According to studies published by the AAP, as many as 3 in every one thousand infants are born with mild to severe hearing loss. Hearing loss can go unnoticed for years on end, often leading to cognitive development issues. It is now becoming practice in many of the leading hospitals to perform hearing and vision screening before the child ever leaves the hospital with their parents. If the baby was not screened immediately after birth, it is important to contact a local hearing center for complete testing.

Common illnesses and medical issues found in infants will manifest themselves in odd and unusual ways. This is why it is so vital for parents to prepare and educate themselves on the most sicknesses that could be taking place within their child.

Information credit to Eyeconx, a Calgary vision care clinic.