25th Mayo Clinic Conference

25th Mayo Clinic conference


Ear issues (vertigo, tinnitus, hyperacousis, imbalance) in Children from Concussions.

---Jamie Bogle, AuD,PhD. Presents on  Pediatrics and Dizziness

– Some research being done in Scottsdale, AZ.  A blog while I am thinking about it:

Children with dizziness: 
Why would children get dizziness?  Well, let’s think of all the kids playing sports and the pressure on them to win.  When kids work hard and push themselves, they may fall and end up hurting themselves.  My son has a friend who has had a number of falls and hence concussions.  This boy plays hockey and soccer.   Not sure if concussions are on the rise but I would think there is an increase in concussions.   So you ask, what is a concussion.  Bogle describes a concussion as ‘an injury caused by a bump, blow or a jolt to the head or a penetrating head injury that disrupts the normal function of the brain’. She gave Statistics showing more than 300,000 documented in pediatric athletes. This breaks down to about 5-10% of athletes, and mostly occur to males during football games. Surprise surprise. Of course this makes sense because they are working harder to win, which is why it would happen more during games. What she shared is that most of these kids don’t get knocked out and fall into unconsciousness. So maybe there is more prevalence as the parent may not even be aware of the problem. Dr. Bogle shared that kids take longer to heal with increased cognitive and memory symptoms than adults do. Why, she shared, is that the child’s skull is more compliant and thus the skull is less protective and leads to more inflammation.   Besides cognitive issues there are hearing and balance issues. Doctors tell the families that rest will reduce the symptoms.  So after 3 days there is a great decline but still many of these children have symptoms past 7 days. The kids have more fatigue, irritability and can have many other symptoms. She said these symptoms actually present for longer durations.

She said many kids show a serious imbalance and when tested with an increase of difficulty in movement they can have imbalance for days after to get back to a good balance. This seems so significant when pushing kids back into sports too quickly where another concussion can reoccur.

Imagine if you get a brain injury, the brain affects so many things.   Important in our field is what to do with children with ear issues.  How do we care for these children with vertigo, tinnitus, auditory processing and off balance.  This is all new research for the care and to understand how these concussions are going to affect them in long term.

75 percent of these children that have head injuries have vertigo.  Vertigo is a horrible feeling where the room actually feels like it is moving on you.   Have you ever tried to continue with your day when your world is spinning.  And sometimes the spinning comes and goes.  Often when you have vertigo it results in vomiting.  Most children (and adults for that matter) hate to vomit and when in school can upset other kids around them too.   I know my daughter will report to me who vomited and because of her personality, she gets  very upset. Anyway, it effects the child but the child’s academics and  relationships in school too.  They have to miss school because of vertigo, stress, anxiety and even headaches.  Some children even have more auditory processing symptoms where they don’t have a hearing loss but actually can’t follow a lecture for instance.

The testing in audiology using standard tests found these kids had normal function even though they are not normal.  Se we need to create better tests to try to find the legion so we can find better therapies.

Her research is finding that the visional input does help us stay steady and so she said we can use vision to help the testing.   What her testing is finding that there is a mismatch between the senses and the vision.  Why would this be?  This is some research being done.  More as I learn it.

If it was my child who got a concussion I would not push my child back into sports.  It is very dangerous to have a brain injury and I would not want to mess with my child’s long term cognitive ability.  The brain is too important.  Consider putting your child in a non-impact sport!

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