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Vestibular Disorder

Children who have difficulty balancing or experience symptoms of dizziness may have a vestibular disorder. Left untreated, this disorder can result in developmental delays. Fortunately, Cook Children's audiologists are here to help your child.

What is a vestibular disorder?

A vestibular disorder is a problem within the organs of the inner ear. When there is a problem in the inner ear, it can cause dizziness, balance issues, and problems with eye coordination. Problems can occur suddenly or develop slowly over time. There are many causes of vestibular disorders in children and teens. They can be the result of a viral or bacterial infection. They can also be caused by a congenital defect (something your child is born with), a genetic defect, a tumor and even some chemicals and drugs. A head injury or concussion during sports, play or in an accident may also cause vestibular disorders.

What are the symptoms of a vestibular disorder?

  • A sensation of spinning or feeling like the world is spinning around you
  • Feeling light-headed, particularly when standing
  • Feeling off-balance or unsteady
  • Blurred vision with head movement
  • Feeling disoriented or disconnected with the environment

How do we test the vestibular system?

Our audiologists are trained to perform highly technical tests and procedures which evaluate the function of the vestibular system to identify the source of the problem. Your child’s evaluation may include:

  • Audiometry – evaluates hearing. This test can tell us if your child has hearing loss.
  • Tympanometry – evaluates eardrum movement. This test can find problems with the middle ear such as the presence of fluid, congestion, or a problem with the bones of the middle ear.
  • Videonystagmography (VNT), VEMP and VHIT – evaluate the vestibular system. These tests include a variety of tasks your child will complete while we measure and record eye movements. These tasks are easy and painless. Your child will watch lights move on the wall in different patterns, be moved into different positions, and have warm and cool air gently placed in their ear. These tests can help us know where vestibular problem might be located.

Why choose Cook Children's Audiology?

Our audiologists are uniquely qualified to provide a comprehensive array of professional services related to the audiologic identification, assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of vestibular disorders. Our audiologists are fully trained to provide these services to children and teens.

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We're here to help.

If your child has been recommended to us, you probably have lots of questions. We can help. If you would like to schedule an appointment, refer a patient or speak to our staff, please call our offices at 682-885-4063.