DSSCS results from an abnormal opening (dehiscence) in the bone overlaying the superior semicircular canal of the inner ear. Patients with this syndrome can experience dizziness and vertigo (a feeling of motion and loss of balance), often precipitated by loud noise or sudden motions that alter the inner ear pressure, such as coughing, sneezing or lifting heavy objects. Hearing loss is also common.
DSSCS is confirmed by specialized balance testing called a VEMP (vestibular evoked myogenic potential) as well as computed tomography (CT) scans of the temporal bones of the inner ear. Many patients with the disorder are able to tolerate their symptoms by reducing such causative stimuli as loud noises. For others whose quality of life is impacted, surgical repair of the dehiscence can be effective.