A balance assessment is carried out on children to detect signs of a balance disorder. Many children will experience feelings of dizziness, imbalance or lightheadedness at some point as they grow, but when these symptoms occur repeatedly causing disruption to the child's everyday life, a balance assessment is recommended.
The prevalence of balance and vestibular disorders in children is estimated to be between 0.45 and 5.3%, with a slightly higher prevalence in females over males, which tends to rise with age.
A correlation exists between hearing loss and balance disorders and any child with a hearing loss can develop balance problems. While most balance issues in children are temporary and easy to treat, for instance from an ear infection - others can be a sign of a migraine precursor or something more serious, such as a neurological disorder.
In that case when a child complains of dizziness or if vestibular loss is suspected (either by case history or positive screening measure), vestibular function testing is warranted.
For vestibular function testing, children aged 0 to 2 years typically receive rotary chair, cervical VEMP's, and vHIT. For children aged 3 to 7 years, vHIT, cervical VEMP's are carried out, and for children aged 8+ years, vHIT, caloric testing, vHIT and cervical VEMP's and Rotational chair testing are completed. For all children, modifications to testing can be made, as needed.
At Beacon Audiology we have all the equipment and expertise necessary to perform comprehensive balance assessments in children in a friendly and non-threatening environment.