Have you ever experienced an unexplained episode of dizziness? Maybe you got up too fast, or maybe your dizziness is a symptom of a balance disorder. The only way to know for sure is to get tested. Learn more about how the experts at Victory Hearing & Balance Center test your balance.
What Is Dizziness?
A general term for imbalance, dizziness can be used to describe vertigo, lightheadedness and a feeling like you or your surroundings are spinning.
Your vestibular system works together with your vision and sense of touch to provide your brain with information about where your body is in space, helping you keep your balance. When a problem arises in any of these systems, it can lead to a balance disorder.
The most common causes of balance disorders include:
- Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV)
- Meniere’s disease
- Vestibular neuritis
- Head injury
- Medication side effect
Balance tests are essential for determining the cause of your symptoms. Once the cause is identified, an individualized treatment plan can be put in place.
Also known as a rotary chair test, this exam measures your eye movements. You’ll be asked to sit in a chair controlled by a computer. You’ll put on special goggles that can measure your eye movements while the chair moves back and forth and in a circle.
ENG & VNG
Electronystagmography (ENG) and videonystagmography (VNG) tests also measure eye movements. You’ll be asked to sit in an exam chair in a dark room while patterns of light move on a screen. Your audiologist will ask you to follow the patterns with your eyes while moving into a series of positions. Different temperature water and air will then be pushed into your ears to cause your eyes to move in a specific way. If your eyes do not move as they should, this tells your audiologist there is damage to the nerves of the inner ear.
Also known as computerized dynamic posturography (CDP), this test is used to measure your ability to maintain your balance while standing. In order to be safe, you will be strapped into a harness before the test begins. You will then be asked to stand barefoot on a platform. A landscape will be shown on a screen around you and the platform will begin to move.
A vestibular evoked myogenic potentials (VEMP) test measures how certain muscles respond to sound to determine if there is a problem in your inner ear. You will be reclined in a chair while wearing headphones. Sensors are attached to your forehead, neck and under your ears to record muscle movements. Clicks and tones will be played through the headphones. Your audiologist may ask you to lift your head or move your eyes while a certain sound is playing.
A video head impulse test (vHIT) measures how your eyes react to abrupt movements. You’ll wear special goggles that can record your eye movements while your audiologist will have you move from a sitting to a lying down position and/or move your head in different positions.
The results of these tests can help determine the cause of your symptoms.
To learn more about balance testing or to schedule an appointment, contact the team at Victory Hearing & Balance Center.