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July 1978

Auditory and Vestibular Damage in Head Injuries at Work

Author Affiliations

From the Hearing Branch, Workers' Compensation Board of British Columbia, Canada.

Arch Otolaryngol. 1978;104(7):404-408. doi:10.1001/archotol.1978.00790070042011

• A series of 50 unselected patients who reported a head injury to the Workers' Compensation Board of British Columbia were referred to the AudioVestibular Unit of the Vancouver General Hospital for studies of auditory and vestibular function. All patients were interviewed and examined by a neuro-otology team during the course of their investigation. It was found that dizziness was the most common symptom of which they complained (60%), and bleeding from the ear was the least common (4%). Of the 50 patients studied, 32% showed evidence of either auditory and/or vestibular injury. Of the total number studied, 16% had auditory injuries and 26% had vestibular injuries. The most common auditory injury was unilateral partial loss of hearing. Central vestibular dysfunction was the most common vestibular injury.

A study of the most effective means of selecting patients from the population with head injuries for referral for audiology and vestibular testing was undertaken. The most effective combination of symptoms for referral is the presence of one or more of the triad: hearing loss, unsteadiness, or loss of consciousness/amnesia.

(Arch Otolaryngol 104:404-408, 1978)

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