The International Tinnitus Journal


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The International Tinnitus Journal

Official Journal of the Neurootological and Equilibriometric Society
Official Journal of the Brazil Federal District Otorhinolaryngologist Society

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ISSN: 0946-5448


Investigating the Effects of Vestibular Rehabilitation on Balance Function in Cochlear Implant Recipients

Author(s): Nader saki, Hassan Abshirini,Saman Karkhaneh, Arash Bayat

Background: Cochlear Implantation (CI) is an effective surgical approach to rehabilitate the severe to profound hearing-impaired patients. However, the insertion of CI electrodes into the cochlea may adversely affect vestibular receptors, resulting in vertigo or dizziness. The present study aimed to investigate the impacts of Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy (VRT) exercises on dizziness symptoms of patients who underwent CI.

Methods: A total of 21 consecutive patients (age range: 28 to 61 years) with profound sensorineural hearing loss undergoing CI operation participated. The VRT therapy plan consisted of a habituation and adaptation exercises in combination with gait and balance exercises. The handicapping influences of dizziness was measured using a Dizziness Handicap Inventory (DHI) scale to measure the level of respondent’s performance on physical, emotional, and functional dimensions. Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) was also conducted to assess the severity of dizziness symptoms. The DHI and VAS scales were conducted before VRT and at “oneweek”, “two-week”, and “four-week” following the last rehabilitation session.

Results: A repeated-measure analysis of variance demonstrated a significant decrement and a consequent improvement in DHI scores after vestibular exercises in all emotional, physical and functional domains (p < 0.001). We also found that the influence of implanted ear (p=0.076) and gender (p=0.094) variables on DHI scores were not statistically significant. The mean VAS score was 5.87 ± 2.27 at baseline stage and it reduced significantly during the course of the therapy (second week, 2.02 ±1.75, p < 0.001; and forth week, 1.51 ± 1.29, p < 0.001).

Conclusion: The findings of this study showed that vestibular rehabilitation therapy has a positive impact on the symptoms of the patients who underwent CI surgery. These exercises lead to an improvement in balance and postural stability, and a reduction in the self-report measure of handicaps. These findings provide the basis for better pre-operative counseling and postoperative vestibular rehabilitation to CI recipients.

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