Pediatric Hearing Loss Associated with Vestibular Issues
Children with significant hearing loss often have accompanying vestibular anomalies. Nandi and Luxon (2008) reported approximately one-third of all deaf people have unusual vestibular systems.
Cushing et al (2013) report 153 children (mean age 13 years, included 84 boys and 69 girls) with profound sensorinerual hearing loss (119 of the children had unilateral cochlear implants [CI] at the time of test and the other 34 were evaluated pre-cochlear implantation).
The authors report horizontal semi-circular canal function was evaluated via caloric stimulation and rotational chair tests and Vestibular Evoked Myogenic Potentials (VEMPS) were used to assess saccular function in the children.
Cushing et al report vestibular end-organ dysfunction was determined to be present in half of all their subjects with profound sensorineural hearing loss. Of note, none of the children reported signs or symptoms of vestibular injury after receiving their CI and none had prolonged hospital stays due to intractable emesis or instability. The authors underscored the importance of vestibular and balance assessment in children with SNHL.
For More Information, References, and Recommendations
Cushing CL, Gordon KA, Rutka JA, James AL, Papsin BC. (2013) Vestibular End-Organ Dysfunction in Children with Sensorineural Hearing Loss and Cochlear Implants – An Expanded Cohort and Etiologic Assessment. Otology & Neurotology 34:422-428.
Nandi R, Luxon LM. (2008) Development and Assessment of the Vestibular System. International Journal of Audiology 47:566-577.
Valente LM. (2007) Adaptation of adult techniques for evaluating vestibular function in children. Hearing Journal 60(10):33-44.