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Inventis Maestro - July 2023

What are the Audiovestibular Complications and Legal Considerations that Arise After Head Injuries?

Anna Scala

September 25, 2023

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Question

What are the audiovestibular complications and legal considerations that arise after head injuries?

Answer

Trauma to the head causes significant morbidity not only to the brain but also to the audiovestibular system. While the effects of trauma to the head resulting in a brain injury have been studied extensively, damage to the audiovestibular system has hardly been studied. These injuries are called cryptogenic or hidden and are often not assessed or diagnosed in the grand scale of things. However, these injuries can severely affect not only the balance of the individual concerned but also his/her cognition, navigational skills, and mood leading to a significant diminution of quality of life. The ear injury is independent of the force of the head injury and can occur in trivial blows to the head.

The audiovestibular complications of any head injury leading to a labyrinthine injury, regardless of the intensity of the injury, include dizziness, vertigo, lightheadedness and fuzzy-headedness, brain fog, postural instability, and unsteadiness, swaying and falls, hearing loss, tinnitus, hyperacusis, and pathologies causing these symptoms include isolated vestibular weakness, migraine, benign positional paroxysmal vertigo, endolymphatic hydrops, semicircular canal dehiscences, perilymph fistulae, and auditory and vestibular processing problems. There is a legal aspect attached to it, and it is the person’s right to claim compensation for these injuries that can be quite substantial.

Audiovestibular system assessment and management thereof are crucial in head injuries to improve a person’s life.

To delve deeper into the topic, I suggest looking into the AudiologyOnline course “Auditory and Vestibular Complications and Legalities Following Head Injuries” led by Professor Soumit Dasgupta MBBS DLO MS FRCS MSc FIAOHNS FRCP, with whom Inventis has had the pleasure and honor of collaborating.

This lecture discusses the pathomechanism, epidemiology, clinical features, and management of audiovestibular injuries following head injuries and the legal perspective with the author’s own extensive case series.

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anna scala

Anna Scala

Education Manager, Inventis

Anna received her specialization in Biomedical Engineering from Padua University. She has worked as technical-data processing consultant, healthcare sector, for several years. At Inventis, she follows the customer care activities and, as Education Manager, she is in charge of the company’s educational programs as well as of the scientific divulgation events for clinicians and audiologists.


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