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Clinical Challenges
April 2003

Comments About the Value of Vestibular Testing in Young Children With Sensorineural Hearing Loss

Author Affiliations




Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2003;129(4):483-484. doi:10.1001/archotol.129.4.483

Children with congenital or early-onset sensorineural hearing impairment may be affected by vestibular dysfunction. In most cases, this is a bilateral absence or hypofunction of peripheral vestibular inputs due to labyrinthine dysfunction. A child very rarely shows evidence of fluctuating vestibular function, although adults who are rapidly losing their hearing in one or both ears commonly do. Other than general "clumsiness" and some delay in gross motor skills such as walking, there are rarely complaints in this population that draw attention to vestibular dysfunction. Beyond this, our medical attention is typically directed toward the goals of seeking to identify the cause of the hearing loss and to provide the child with a suitable means of auditory (re)habilitation.

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