Ingeborg Dhooge

Prof. Dhooge is head of the Ear Nose and Throat department of the Ghent University Hospital and full professor at the Department of Head and Skin, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at Ghent University. She is head of one of the major implant centers in Belgium. Furthermore, her group participates in the European Reference network Cranio, the European Reference Network for rare and/or complex craniofacial anomalies and ear, nose and throat (ENT) disorders.

Her main field of expertise is  otology. Over the years she has performed research in the field of hearing loss and tinnitus, balance, (re)habilitation and genetics of deafness and balance.

From early on, her research has been interdisciplinary with an intensive collaboration with members of the Department of Rehabilitation Sciences and members of the Department of Information Technology. She is co-founder of Ghent auditory science platform (2016, GASP,, a formalized collaborative research platform within Ghent University joining research groups in medicine, audiology and engineering promoting outreach to scientists, enterprises, and society at large.

She supervised up till now 15 successfully defended PhDs. She published more than 180 A1 articles resulting in more than 5.000 citations, she wrote 9 chapters in books and edited one book on ENT pathology.

A vestibular dysfunction can have a negative impact on the development of a child. Due to the close anatomical relationship between the vestibular and auditory end organs, hearing-impaired children have a higher risk for vestibular dysfunctions, which can affect their (motor) development. More indirectly, a vestibular dysfunction may also impact the cognitive and behavioural development of a child. For that reason, it is of great importance that a vestibular dysfunction is detected as early as possible in order to give the child access to the most appropriate treatment options. Unfortunately, pediatric vestibular assessment is challenging and often not routinely performed in this population.

Therefore, during this session the impact of a vestibular dysfunction on the development of children and the options for pediatric vestibular assessments will be discussed. Also (the results) of the Vestibular Infant Screening (VIS) project, which offers a vestibular screening to each congenitally hearing-impaired child in Flanders (Belgium), will be presented. This screening increased awareness and has led to early identification of vestibular deficits and referral for motor assessment and rehabilitation, in order to limit the impact on a child’s development and improve their quality of life. Additionally, different populations at risk for a vestibular dysfunction will be elaborated, with the main focus on children with a cochlear implant and children with a congenital cytomegalovirus infection. Lastly, the options for pediatric vestibular rehabilitation will be discussed.