Monday, April 8, 2013

Enlarged Vestibular Aqueduct

So, when we were at Riley Hospital (RH from now on), we had a CT scan and met with the surgeon. Dr. Yates informed us that Riley (our Riley) had an enlarged Verstibular Aqueduct. A whatee whatee hubbeee doobeee? Yes, I think that was my exact response.

Let me go back. Josh and I have always wanted to know how this happened? How our child was born with hearing loss? There's not HL in our family, nothing from the ultrasound. How did this happen is the question I ask myself about once a day.....until I found out.

Doc says that this "MAY" have caused her hearing loss because most children with this condition will develop HL over time. Our girl just got it from birth and it is sort of a good thing because as we all know about everything....early detection is KEY.

So this is what I know about the enlarged VA ( and this is straight from Dr. Goggle)

Vestibular aqueducts are narrow, bony canals that travel from the inner ear to deep inside the skull (see figure). The aqueducts begin inside the temporal bone, the part of the skull just above the ear. The temporal bone also contains two sensory organs that are part of the inner ear. These organs are the cochlea, which detects sound waves and turns them into nerve signals, and the vestibular labyrinth, which detects movement and gravity. These organs, together with the nerves that send their signals to the brain, work to create normal hearing and balance. Running through each vestibular aqueduct is a fluid-filled tube called the endolymphatic duct, which connects the inner ear to a balloon-shaped structure called the endolymphatic sac.

Recent studies indicate that a vestibular aqueduct is abnormally enlarged if it is larger than one millimeter, roughly the size of the head of a pin. This is called an enlarged vestibular aqueduct, or EVA; the condition is also known as a dilated vestibular aqueduct or a large vestibular aqueduct. If a vestibular aqueduct is enlarged, the endolymphatic duct and sac usually grow large too. The functions of the endolymphatic sac and duct are not completely understood. Scientists believe that the endolymphatic sac and duct help to ensure that the fluid in the inner ear contains the correct amounts of certain chemicals called ions. Ions are needed to help start the nerve signals that send sound and balance information to the brain.

Did you get that? I am learning more and more about the anatomy of the ear, how we hear and everything in between that I sould have been an ENT. A lot goes into sound  and how we hear that I'm amazed we all hear like we do.

EVA is something that can affect your hearing over time. When we were at RH they said her hearing was actually getting worse (meaning from really bad, to really worse) and this could be why. Thats why we decided to go bilateral (both ears) right away.

Now to some parents, this could be heartbraking. To Josh and I, we are hopeful. The heartbraking part is over, it's done, we've greived and got through. Now we know how this happened, or why she has hearing loss. There's a good chance it isn't genetics and may not affect any other children we have. Who knows. That part is all out of our control. For now we are just happen that they WHY question in our life is answered.

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