An audio-vestibular study of 128 children presenting to a specialized paediatric audio-vestibular clinic: Should every child with hearing impairment have vestibular function assessed?
AbstractThis is a study of the vestibular function of 128 children with a varying degree/type and cause of hearing impairment presenting to a specialized paediatric vestibular service. It shows that there are some syndromic and non-syndromic conditions that may be associated with vestibular dysfunction. Due to the relatively small cohort of children tested with a lesser degree of hearing impairment, the study is unable to confirm the proportional dependence of the presence of vestibular dysfunction with the degree of hearing impairment but it confirms such a trend. However, it supports earlier findings that profound hearing loss due to autosomal recessive inheritance associated with mutation in the Connexin 26 gene is not associated with vestibular dysfunction of the lateral semicircular canal. It further shows that children with profound hearing loss and lack of vestibular function present with a history of gross motor developmental delay. It argues that the referral of a child for vestibular assessment should be based on the knowledge of syndromic/non-syndromic conditions associated frequently with inner ear anomalies as well as the knowledge of the noxious factors that may lead to vestibular dysfunction and also hearing impairment such as meningitis, rubella, birth risk factors and ototoxicity.