Vestibular function following unilateral cochlear implantation for profound sensorineural hearing loss

Gavin J. Le Nobel, Euna Hwang, Adrian Wu, Sharon Cushing, Vincent Y. Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Background: Many Canadians are affected by sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) and those with severe or profound hearing loss may have poor hearing function despite optimized hearing aids. Cochlear implants (CI) offer effective hearing rehabilitation for these patients, however, concern continues to exist regarding possible effects of CI on the vestibular system and balance. The objective of this study was to conduct a pilot study assessing the effects of unilateral cochlear implantation (CI) on balance and the vestibular system in post-lingually deafened adults. Methods: Twelve patients were included in this pilot study and were assessed pre-operatively and at immediate, 1 week, and 1 month post-operative intervals. Assessments consisted of the dizziness handicap inventory (DHI), subjective visual vertical (SVV), and timed up-and-go testing (TUG). When applicable, testing was repeated with the CI on and off. Results: Many patients were found to have deviated SVV at pre-operative and post-operative assessments. However, statistically significant changes were not seen when comparing pre-operative and post-operative SVV or when comparing SVV with the CI on and with the CI off. DHI was found to improve in five patients and worsen in two patients, however, no statistically significant change was found in DHI scores or with TUG testing. Conclusions: This current pilot study does not indicate that CI surgery or implant activity influence vestibular or balance function, however, this pilot study is underpowered and greater numbers of patients would need be assessed to confirm these findings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number38
JournalJournal of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 14 2016


  • Cochlear implant
  • Sensorineural hearing loss
  • Vestibular dysfunction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


Dive into the research topics of 'Vestibular function following unilateral cochlear implantation for profound sensorineural hearing loss'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this