Head Injury and Blast Exposure: Vestibular Consequences

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Young adults are more likely to suffer blast injury and traumatic brain injury (TBI) than other age groups. This article reviews the literature on the vestibular consequences of blast exposure and TBI and concussion. In addition, the vestibular test findings obtained from 31 veterans with a history of blast exposure and/or mild TBI are presented. The authors discuss loss of horizontal semicircular canal function and postural instability related to head injury. Preliminary data suggest the novel theory that otolith organs are uniquely vulnerable to head injury and blast exposure.