Vestibular (Dizzy) Evaluations
Vertigo, dizziness, and balance problems can be life altering. For many people it can affect their ability to do even the simplest daily tasks. Symptoms that make it necessary to investigate the integrity of the auditory (hearing) and vestibular (balance) nerves and peripheral organs:
- Tinnitus (noises in the ear)
- Aural Pressure (fullness of the ear)
- Vertigo or Imbalance
- Unilateral or fluctuating hearing loss
If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, your doctor may refer you to our practice for a neuro-vestibular evaluation of your symptoms. Testing may include videonystagmography (VNG), auditory brainstem response (ABR) and/or electrocochleography (ECochG). These are all non-invasive diagnostic tests.
A VNG is a series of tests that evaluate the health of your vestibular (balance portion of inner ear) and your central motor function. VNG testing can help to uncover the root cause of your vertigo, dizziness or balance issues, and allows your doctor to treat it appropriately and effectively.
Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR)
ABR measures the timing patterns of the auditory nerve. The ABR is a reliable and sensitive test for abnormalities in the nerve. Neoplasms (growths on the myelin sheath of the nerve), although rare, can cause the above mentioned symptoms.
ECochG is an objective measure of the electrical potentials generated in the inner ear as a result of sound stimulation. This test is most often used to determine if the inner ear (cochlea) has an excessive amount of fluid pressure. Excessive fluid pressure in the cochlea can cause symptoms such as hearing loss, aural fullness, dizziness, and/or tinnitus. These symptoms are sometimes indicative of certain ear pathologies such as Meniere’s disease or endolymphatic hydrops.
Preparing for your Neuro-Vesibular (Dizziness/Balance) Testing
Because of the nature of the tests, there are some preparations you will need to make before your evaluation. Our staff will provide you with clear instructions on how to prepare for your examination.
Restrictions 48 hours prior to testing:
No caffeine or alcohol
No barbituates (e.g., sleeping pills, anti anxiety medicine)
No antihistamines, decongestants or anti-dizziness medication (e.g. motion sickness, anti-nausea medications)
Restrictions day of testing:
No make-up, perfume, cologne or aftershave
Cover tattoo eye liner and remove false eyelashes
If you have any questions about your instructions or how to prepare for the test, please call our office.
Each test takes about 45 minutes...so wear comfortable clothes! Total test time can range up to 3 hours. The VNG testing can cause some dizziness. This dizziness usually subsides within a short period of time. It is advised that you bring someone with you who can drive you home afterward if you are unable to drive or do not feel well after the tests.
The neuro-vestibular testing is performed in our Walker Lane location at 6355 Walker Lane #411, Alexandria VA 22310. Due to the lengthy duration of the tests, we require a minimum of 48 hours cancellation notice. Failure to properly notify our practice of your cancellation will result in a fee.