What is Superior Canal Dehiscence?

Superior canal dehiscence syndrome (SCDS) is a condition that can cause problems with your balance and / or your hearing. Canal dehiscence refers to an opening (or dehiscence) in the “bone that covers one of the semicircular canals of the inner ear.” (Source)

What Causes Superior Canal Dehiscence?

Your inner ear contains three fluid-filled loops, called the semicircular canals. These delicate canals detect the rotation of your head.

The exact cause of superior canal dehiscence is not yet known. However, researchers believe that it could be a congenital issue. Johns Hopkins notes:

“In very rare instances, during fetal development, the uppermost semicircular canal fails to close or thicken normally. Both normal balance and hearing depend on this canal forming a closed passageway, with sound coming in through one end (the stapes bone at the oval window) and out the other (an opening in the inner ear called the round window).”

Symptoms of Superior Canal Dehiscence

The most commonly reported symptoms of superior canal dehiscence include:

  • Dizziness / Vertigo
  • Autophony – where your own voice or sounds like blinking or breathing sound louder than normal
  • Oscillopsia – the perception that your environment is moving
  • Sensitivity to loud noises
  • A feeling of fullness or pressure in the ears

The symptoms of SCDS may come and go intermittently. Dizziness or oscillopsia may be triggered by certain things, such as a change in air pressure. Exposure to loud noises may also trigger the symptoms. Other things that may reportedly trigger symptoms include:

  • Heavy lifting
  • Certain exercises
  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Straining
  • Listening to loud sounds

Diagnosing Superior Canal Dehiscence

Unfortunately, not every patient experiences the same symptoms. This can make diagnosis difficult. In order to accurately diagnose the superior canal dehiscence, your healthcare physician may order a number of tests. These can include:

  • CT scan of the temporal bone
  • A hearing assessment
  • Balance testing
  • Vestibular Evoked Myogenic Potential (VEMP) test

Treating Superior Canal Dehiscence

Many people with superior canal dehiscence learn to cope with their symptoms. They incorporate lifestyle adaptations to avoid potential triggers of the symptoms.

For some, working with a certified vestibular physical therapist can provide benefits. For others with debilitating SCDS, surgery may be an option. We recommend that you speak with your primary healthcare physician to explore the appropriate treatment that suits your lifestyle.

Trust the Experts at Anderson Audiology

If you’ve been advised to get a hearing test, the hearing healthcare professionals at Anderson Audiology are on hand to help. Call the team today on 702-997-2964. Alternatively, click here to request an appointment online.

© 2024 Anderson Audiology. All right reserved. | Privacy Policy

The purpose of this hearing assessment and/or demonstration is for hearing wellness to determine if the client(s) may benefit from using hearing aids. Products demonstrated may differ from products sold. Test conclusion may not be a medical diagnosis. The use of any hearing aid may not fully restore normal hearing and does not prevent future hearing loss. Testing is to evaluate your hearing wellness, which may include selling and fitting hearing aids. Hearing instruments may not meet the needs of all hearing-impaired individuals. One offer per customer. Insurance benefit, including Managed Care or federal reimbursements, cannot be combined with any of our promotional offers, coupons or discounts. Other terms may apply. See office for details.

Safety today and every day after – We are open

As a company focused on care, our Anderson Audiology team is committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for our customers and staff. Together with our communities, we pledge to do everything we can to ensure you have a safe visit as we honor our mission to help people hear better.