Have you ever had unexplained episodes of dizziness or felt like you may fall? If so, this is something you should not take lightly. In fact, one out of five falls causes a serious injury such as broken bones or a head injury.
If you experience any episodes of dizziness, now is the time to seek help. Contact your Louisville audiologist to schedule an appointment.
Types of Diagnostic Tests
In order to help you, your audiologist will need to determine the cause of your dizziness. This is done through a series of diagnostic testing. Below are some of the most common:
This test is used to determine whether there is excess fluid in the inner ear by measuring the electrical currents generated by sound stimulation, and can help with the diagnosis of Meniere’s disease and other balance and hearing disorders.
This series of tests measures eye movements via electrodes placed around the eyes in order to assess the functioning of the vestibular system, responsible for balance. ENG tests usually consist of four parts: evaluation of rapid eye movements, tracking tests to measure eye movements as they follow a visual target, positional test for measuring dizziness in response to different head positions and a caloric test that measures responses to warm and cold water circulating through a tube in the ear canal. Most people reporting dizziness or vertigo will be given ENG tests initially.
This is similar to ENG testing, but an infrared video camera attached to a pair of goggles is used in place of electrodes. The same four-part testing process is utilized. It measures eye movements to evaluate the inner ear and central motor functions. It can determine whether a vestibular disorder is the cause of a balance problem, and whether one or both ears are affected.
This balance test measures the effectiveness of the somatosensory system, vestibular system and vision to determine which area(s) to focus on when treating a balance disorder.
Rotary Chair Tests.
The rotary chair test measures eye movements in response to corresponding head movements; it is used to determine whether symptoms are related to an inner ear disorder or a brain disorder. Like the ENG and VNG tests, either electrodes or a goggle-mounted video camera are used to record eye movements. You are seated in a computerized chair that moves. This test provides more detailed information about the function of the balance system than an ENG or VNG test.
Computerized Dynamic Posturography (CDP).
CDP tests measure how well the visual, vestibular and sensory systems work together to maintain balance. With this test, you stand on a platform and follow a visual target while platform movements record the degree to which your body sways. It includes an Adaptation Test in which the platform moves up and down and a Motor Control Test where the platform moves forward and backward. These are used to measure reflexive responses to unexpected movement. CDP is frequently used for those undergoing vestibular rehabilitation.
Vestibular Evoked Myogenic Potential (VEMP).
VEMP testing is used to determine whether the saccule (an inner ear organ) and vestibular nerves are functioning properly. Electrodes are attached to the neck and sounds are transmitted through a pair of headphones. The electrical response of the sternocleidomastoid muscle in the neck is recorded.
These quick and painless tests are the keys to your recovery. Contact your Louisville audiologist today to get started.