Dizziness Evaluation / Vestibular & Balance Function Test
A vestibular and balance function evaluation consists of a variety of tests
performed to examine and diagnose the vestibular portion of the inner
ear, which is responsible for balance. These tests can help determine
the cause of dizziness, and then allow your doctor to develop the most
appropriate treatment plan. Some vestibular tests include:
An electronystagmogram (ENG) is a diagnostic procedure that measures normal
eye movements, as well as involuntary ones known as nystagmus. This test
is most often performed to evaluate the function of the inner ear and
the parts of the brain that control eye movement, as well as to see how
well these structures work together to maintain the balance and position
of the body.
During the ENG exam, electrodes are attached to the face to take readings
while the eyes perform several different activities, such as following
the movement of objects, looking back and forth between designated points
and lying in different positions. For some patients, this test may also
include placing a small amount of cool water and then warm water into
the ear canal. This procedure can be performed in our office. Abnormal
results may indicate damage to the inner ear, the nerve of the inner ear,
or other parts of the brain that control eye movements.
Like ENG, videonystagmography (VNG) is also used to evaluate inner ear
function and determine whether or not it is the cause of dizziness and
balance disorders, but does so using infrared goggles instead of electrodes.
The goggles measure the involuntary movements of the eyes, known as nystagmus,
in response to a series of stimuli. VNG produces more accurate and consistent
results, and is considered more comfortable for patients. It is also one
of the only tests that can determine if the problem is unilateral (one
ear) or bilateral (both ears).