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Richard Han
Richard Han, Board Certified MD
Category: Neurology
Satisfied Customers: 1367
Experience:  Physican with over 15 years experience
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My 19 month old daughter has had unilateral hearing loss

Customer Question

My 19 month old daughter has had unilateral hearing loss since birth. I notice that she is very unsteady on her feet, often walking like she is drunk. Does unilateral hearing loss cause balance issues? She has tubes in both ears, both of which are clogged right now. She has ongoing issues with clogged tubes.
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Neurology
Expert:  Richard Han replied 11 months ago.
Hello my name is***** am a board-certified pediatrician of 15 years experience and I am happy to help you. Can you answer a few questions for me please? Was your daughter born full term or prematurely, and if the latter how much so? When did she first start walking? Has she met all her developmental milestones on time? And for how long have you been noticing her unsteady walking appearance? Thank you in advance for your replies.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Full term. She started walking around 15 months. She's always been pretty unsteady, but more so lately. She does well running, but she seems a little wobbly walking, or standing. All of her developmental milestones have been met on time. She was screened and actually ahead on quite a few. She does do speech therapy, and seems behind on language development. Recently visited her ENT. Everything looked good, except for her clogged tubes in both ears.
Expert:  Richard Han replied 11 months ago.
Thank you for that information. In general, congenital unilateral hearing loss does not cause balance problems. However, if she has a head cold that could contribute to mild balance problems. Congested sinuses may make her feel like one side of her head is “heavier” than the other, throwing off her balance a little. A respiratory virus can also cause a mild labrynthitis which affects the inner ear which controls balance perception. Finally, toddlers in general are a bit clumsy and awkward at times seemingly unsteady in their feet and especially if she’s been eating less than usual or sleeping less restfully than normally, that could exacerbate things. All in all though if she checked out well with the ENT I would not be overly concerned. I’d recommend keeping an eye on her walking and checking in with her pediatrician if it progressively becomes worse. Can I help with anything else tonight?
Expert:  Richard Han replied 11 months ago.
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