February 26-28, 2017 • Atlanta, GA


2/28/2017  |   4:15 PM - 4:45 PM   |  Large Vestibular Aqueduct Syndrome: Is My Child at Risk?   |  Hanover A

Large Vestibular Aqueduct Syndrome: Is My Child at Risk?

Is your baby or child experiencing fluctuating hearing loss? Do they seem to not hear as well as before after they bump their head or have a fever, even though they don't have any middle ear problems? Do they ever experience balance issues, vomiting, or nystagmus (eye movements)? Have they ever thought they heard the fire siren when it wasn't there? Have they gradually or quickly lost hearing, and/or had the hearing levels return? These can all be signs that your child has Large Vestibular Aqueduct Syndrome (LVAS or EVAS). As a practicing audiologist with almost 40 years experience working with babies and children with hearing loss, I was shocked to discover about 20 years ago that at any given time, 20 to 35% of ALL of the children on my caseload with any degree of hearing loss have LVAS! After learning about this diagnosis and now working with children and their families who have been identified, I feel that LVAS may be underdiagnosed. Case histories will be discussed, and examples of hearing losses from mild to profound degrees will be presented. For some children, bumping their head or doing somersaults can cause further loss; restricting their activities has resulted in their hearing returning to previous levels (and in one case, returning to normal levels). For some families, this has meant getting rid of the trampoline they got for Christmas and participating in swimming rather than karate or soccer. Suggestions for LVAS-proofing your house, activities that have caused progression in hearing losses, medical management and diagnosis of the loss, and the psychological impact on the child and their family will be discussed in a very practical way. Suggestions for support will also be provided.

  • Describe LVAS and its anatomical and audiological implications.
  • Describe in practical terms symptoms of fluctuating hearing loss, fluctuating discrimination abilities, and vestibular symptoms that might suggest to families and professionals that this child might have LVAS.
  • Explain and discuss what can be done to help prevent further hearing changes and help families and children cope with this diagnosis.


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Kathleen Johnson (), Montana School for the Deaf and the Blind, kjohnson@msdb.mt.gov;
Kathleen Johnson, M.S. has been the audiologist at the Montana School for the Deaf and the Blind for 37 years. She was an educational audiologist prior to this in Great Falls, Montana. She has also served as a parent/infant advisor for deaf/hard of hearing babies and their families. In addition, she has been the Montana Director of the Healthy Hearing Program for Special Olympics for the past 11 years. A highlight of her career was attending the World Special Olympic Games in Iowa. As part of the School Outreach services, she can provide audiological and consultative services to any child from birth to 21 years of age who resides in Montana at no cost to the family or school district. This means some travelling in a large, beautiful state that only has 45 or so audiologists to cover it! Yes, it does mean that she has made ear mold impressions in gas station and grocery store parking lots in rural Montana and tested hearing in countless speech rooms, music rooms and janitor's closets. She goes to school each day with many of her


Financial - No relevant financial relationship exist.

Nonfinancial - No relevant nonfinancial relationship exist.