Evidence that vestibular hypofunction affects reading acuity in children

Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 2006 Nov;70(11):1957-65. doi: 10.1016/j.ijporl.2006.07.013. Epub 2006 Aug 30.


Objective: Despite reported gaze stability deficits in children with hearing impairment and concurrent vestibular hypofunction, the reading difficulties reported in this population have not been linked to the gaze instability. The purpose of this study was to develop a modified version of the MNREAD chart that enabled responses orally or using sign language.

Methods: Seventy-two typically developing children and 14 children with sensorineural hearing loss with and without vestibular hypofunction participated. We examined: (1) reliability and age related changes in reading acuity scores, (2) the effect of vestibular hypofunction on reading acuity scores, and (3) the relationship between these scores and a test of dynamic visual acuity.

Results: The test was reliable (ICC (3,2)>or=0.86). Reading acuity scores were significantly worse in children with vestibular hypofunction (p<or=0.002). Furthermore, reading acuity scores correlated with dynamic not static visual acuity scores (r=0.55, p<0.001).

Conclusions: These results imply that the gaze instability due to vestibular hypofunction affects reading ability in young children.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Child
  • Female
  • Hearing Loss, Sensorineural / complications
  • Hearing Loss, Sensorineural / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Reading*
  • Vestibular Diseases / complications
  • Vestibular Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Vision Tests*
  • Visual Acuity*