Patients' experiences of living with superior canal dehiscence syndrome

Int J Audiol. 2018 Nov;57(11):825-830. doi: 10.1080/14992027.2018.1487086. Epub 2018 Sep 4.


Objective: The study investigated how the symptoms of superior canal dehiscence syndrome (SCDS) affected patients in their daily life, and how patients coped with the disease.

Design: This was a qualitative study; semi-structured interviews were performed and analysed according to the systematic text condensation method.

Study sample: Twelve of 13 identified patients with SCDS in the county of Norrbotten, Sweden, were included in the study.

Results: Five main categories were created based on the patients' experiences of living with SCDS: (1) Experiencing strange symptoms: One "new" symptom was identified - mental fatigue. (2) A restricted life socially, physically and at work: All patients experienced some extent of limitation in their daily life. (3) To accept and to protect oneself: All patients had developed strategies to protect their ears from noise. (4) Misunderstood in health care: The diagnosis was sometimes delayed several years due to lack of knowledge among healthcare workers. (5) Carefully considering treatment (surgery): Symptoms were weighed against the risk of side effects.

Conclusions: SCDS was rendered an invisible disability. In the present study, we identified mental fatigue as a symptom not previously considered in the literature.

Keywords: Symptoms of SCDS; fatigue; human; qualitative study; superior canal dehiescence syndrome.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living*
  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cost of Illness*
  • Fatigue / etiology
  • Fatigue / physiopathology
  • Fatigue / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Labyrinth Diseases / complications
  • Labyrinth Diseases / physiopathology
  • Labyrinth Diseases / psychology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Qualitative Research
  • Quality of Life*
  • Semicircular Canals / physiopathology*
  • Sweden
  • Temporal Bone / physiopathology*