Conversion disorder in a child presenting as sudden sensorineural hearing loss

International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology
Brian W RotenbergBlake C Papsin


Pseudohypoacacusis is a form of conversion disorder in which a hearing loss is found in the absence of organic disease. A case of an 11-year-old boy with auditory conversion disorder after mild head trauma is reported. The child presented with unilateral hearing loss, with no accompanying vestibular symptoms and no history of otologic disease. Auditory testing revealed severe right-sided sensorineural hearing loss, however, CT scan was normal. There was a family history of conversion disorder and the child was undergoing an emotionally stressful period. It was decided to treat the child conservatively with close monitoring and a repeat audiogram 2 weeks later. One week after presentation, the child's hearing suddenly returned to normal after a second very minor head injury. It is important to consider pseudohypoacusis or conversion disorder even in cases such as trauma, when the clinical history supports a diagnosis of hearing loss.


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