Watch a short video as audiologist Violette Lavender explains the process pediatric balance testing at Cincinnati Children's.
Our Balance Center offers a team-oriented approach to diagnosing and treating disorders of the pediatric vestibular (balance) system. Children may be born with or may acquire a vestibular disorder – a disruption of the cues provided by the inner ear sensory organs, the eyes, and the feet (proprioception) – that affects balance.
Spectrum of Care – Conditions Treated
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Spinning sensation (vertigo)
- Sensorineural hearing loss
- Inner ear anomalies
- Migraine with dizziness
- Motor delays
- Difficulty walking
- History of ototoxicity (from medication exposure)
- Motion sickness
- Head injuries
- Frequent unexplained falls
- Gait disturbances
Because children may have difficulty expressing what’s happening with their balance, we offer tests designed to measure how your child’s vestibular system interprets cues from sensory information from the eyes, feet (proprioception) and inner ears.
We offer tests that help determine which, if any, part(s) of the vestibular system are causing the symptoms, including:
- Videonystagmography (VNG) – Using a "scuba mask" type of head gear, a camera records the child’s eye movements as they follow a character on a screen and move into different positions.
- Platform Posturography Test – The child stands on a special platform that measures their natural sway.
- Rotational Testing – A camera is used to record a child’s eye movement as they are seated on a gently turning chair. Smaller children are tested while sitting on a caregiver’s lap or in a car seat.
- Vestibular Evoked Myogenic Potentials (VEMPs) – Small electrode stickers are used to measure muscle changes in the neck.
- Video Head Impulse Test (vHIT) – While the child is wearing special glasses, eye response during head movement is measured.
Physical Therapy – Vestibular Rehabilitation
The physical therapist will assess your patient for:
- Static and dynamic postural control
- Ability to keep vision in focus with head movement
- Ability to tolerate various position changes
When needed, treatments focus on ways to:
- Increase and improve safety and self-care independence
- Improve tolerance for movements that typically have been avoided
- Improve visual-motor function with vestibular-specific exercise
- Improve postural responses to various input
Why Refer to Us?
Our multidisciplinary Balance team works together to evaluate and prescribe the most appropriate treatment for your child. This collaboration directly involves:
- Otolaryngologist – diagnoses and treats the balance disorder and refers for appropriate testing
- Audiologist – performs the hearing and balance assessments
- Physical Therapist – completes a sensory motor evaluation, which includes sensory processing, oculomotor, and self-help skills assessments.
We may also include specialists professionals in neurology, oncology, psychology, and neurosurgery in your child’s balance assessment if needed.