Treatment of FD is preventative, symptomatic, and supportive. Therapies are targeted at specific problems, which vary considerably among patients and at different ages.
Our Center uses a personalized medical approach to provide individualized treatment plans. The Center’s staff often works closely with our extended team of physicians at NYU and local health care providers.
Some of the common problems faced by patients with FD and their treatment options are:
Eyes. Overflow tearing is diminished, corneal sensitivity is diminished, and the cornea is susceptible to abrasions. We provide comprehensive corneal protection plans and work with local ophthalmologists to manage the eye complications of FD. Progressive optic atrophy causes visual decline in FD. Trials of potentially neuro-protective agents are underway. Learn about our dedicated Eye Lab at the Center.
Blood pressure. Our therapeutic goal at the Center is to lessen high blood pressure and manage low blood pressure in FD. We use both pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions. The management of blood pressure requires careful clinical assessment and periodic evaluations.
Respiration. Respiratory complications remain a major issue in FD. Sleep disordered breathing occurs in almost all patients, and CPAP or BiPAP are standard of care. Aspiration pneumonias are caused by neurogenic dysphagia (swallowing difficulties). We monitor respiratory function at annual visits. We work with our network of Pulmonary Medicine Specialists at NYU and local pulmonologists. Chest therapy and a proactive approach are an essential part of our respiratory treatment plan.
Feeding difficulties. Feeding difficulties in FD are cause by the inability to coordinate sucking/chewing and swallowing. This is usually noticed in early infancy. We focus on helping children overcome feeding difficulties and maintaining caloric intake in the safest possible way.
Speech difficulties. Speech therapy is often required to overcome speech difficulties.
Nausea & vomiting. Recurrent attacks of nausea and vomiting occur in patients with FD. Treatment options vary; we work with patients and families to find the safest ways to control these attacks.
Injury. We provide practical guidelines for each developmental stage to help prevent accidental injuries caused by insensitivity to pain and temperature.
Orthopedic problems. Some patients with FD have orthopedic issues, which require different therapies. We work closely with the expert orthopedic team at NYU and our staff are available to discuss treatment options.