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The inner ear and the neurologist


Inner ear disorders are common and patients with vestibular failure often present to a neurology clinic because of their dizziness, gait unsteadiness and oscillopsia. Vestibular disorders can be divided into peripheral and central vestibular disorders. Most of the peripheral vestibular disorders have a clinical diagnosis, and a thorough history and examination will often provide a clear direction as to the diagnosis. Correct diagnosis allows treatment for many of the peripheral and central vestibular disorders. As inner ear damage is generally irreversible, early diagnosis allowing prompt treatment is important. The aim of this review is to discuss some audiovestibular conditions that may well appear in a neurology clinic, and to discuss some recent advances within the audiovestibular field that may be of interest to neurologists. Some of the most common audiovestibular conditions will be discussed along side more uncommon conditions.

  • ABI, auditory brain stem implant
  • BAHA, bone-anchored hearing aid
  • BPPV, benign paroxysmal positional vertigo
  • CNS, central nervous system
  • NF2, neurofibromatosis type II
  • NOS, nitric oxide synthase
  • OME, otitis media with middle ear effusion

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