Vestibular audiology, including the diagnosis and rehabilitation of vestibular pathology, has grown and advanced our original and long-standing ideas and practices within vestibular audiology. Pausing for reflection can be useful, but stagnation may be counterproductive to advancement and so a recent series of webinars over four days offered a pause to explore advances in vestibular audiology.
These webinars were hosted by Interacoustics Academy and offered perspectives on advances in VNG, BPPV, vestibular rehabilitation, and paediatric vestibular assessment. These live events, which encouraged attendee participation through knowledge checks during the session as well as the Q&A sessions, offered an opportunity to interrogate and extend knowledge gleaned in the sessions while building on what is already known on the topics. The case studies increased the opportunities for linking the knowledge shared by the presenters with the experiences of people; people who are not just amorphous examples included in the presentation, but people with whom the presenters interacted personally and professionally and with whom we, the webinar attendees, could identify.
The challenges the presenters recounted we recognised in our own practice while they offered suggestions for diagnostic and rehabilitative options which we found plausible and practical. Yes, there is a reliance on vestibular equipment and, yes, there is an assumption of pre-existing knowledge, but the series also offered hope and aspiration for the growth of vestibular audiology, across the lifespan.
Furthermore, hearing and balance were not divorced from each other, and, for example, the paediatric session included aural rehabilitation as well as vestibular rehabilitation while, in the VNG session saccadometry, including pro- and anti-saccades, offered insight into potentially overlooked and subtle vestibular pathology. Very importantly, during all the sessions, people remained the centre of focus while advancing vestibular practice. The information shared during the webinars related to research as well as practice, thereby advancing knowledge and encouraging the inclusion of research in practice.