A new study published in BMJ Open suggests that children who experience common ear and upper respiratory issues like mouth breathing, snoring, and ear infections might be at a greater risk of being diagnosed with autism or depicting high levels of autistic traits.
The study, which examined data from over 10,000 children, found associations between autism and poor speech abilities, pus or sticky mucus discharge from the ears, and several upper respiratory symptoms. The study authors suggest that the findings could offer clues about the origins of ASD and highlight the need to identify and manage ear, nose, and throat conditions in autistic children. However, the researchers caution that ENT issues are common in childhood and that it is impossible to determine whether these conditions cause the development of autistic traits or are related to another factor.
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