Vestibular and balance function is often impaired in children with profound unilateral sensorineural hearing loss

Meirav Sokolov, Karen A. Gordon, Melissa Polonenko, Susan I. Blaser, Blake C. Papsin, Sharon L. Cushing

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations

Abstract

Rationale: Children with unilateral deafness could have concurrent vestibular dysfunction which would be associated with balance deficits and potentially impair overall development. The prevalence of vestibular and balance deficits remains to be defined in these children. Methods: Twenty children with unilateral deafness underwent comprehensive vestibular and balance evaluation. Results: Retrospective review revealed that more than half of the cohort demonstrated some abnormality of the vestibular end organs (otoliths and horizontal canal), with the prevalence of end organ specific dysfunction ranging from 17 to 48% depending on organ tested and method used. In most children, impairment occurred only on the deaf side. Children with unilateral deafness also displayed significantly poorer balance function than their normal hearing peers. Conclusions: The prevalence of vestibular dysfunction in children with unilateral deafness is high and similar to that of children with bilateral deafness. Vestibular and balance evaluation should be routine and the functional impact of combined vestibulo-cochlear sensory deficits considered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)52-61
Number of pages10
JournalHearing Research
Volume372
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2019
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Elsevier B.V.

Keywords

  • Balance
  • Children
  • Equilibrium
  • Pediatric
  • Sensorineural hearing loss
  • Unilateral hearing loss
  • Vestibular function

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