Vestibular & Balance Testing

Vestibular testing involves a series of tests that are administered when a patient is experiencing dizziness. They are used to determine whether symptoms of dizziness are caused by the balance system of the inner ear.

The vestibular system is complex and responsible for many of the body’s functions. In order to narrow down the exact cause of dizziness, it is necessary to administer a variety of tests. These measure eye movements, head movements, hearing and more.

Studies indicate vestibular testing is a thorough and accurate way of identifying inner ear disorders. Vestibular testing is also helpful in determining whether additional diagnostic testing, such as an MRI, is needed. A battery of tests is administered in most cases. The most common tests are listed below.

Videonystagmography (VNG)

Videonystagmography (VNG) is an infrared video camera attached to a pair of goggles. VNG 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.

Vestibular Evoked Myogenic Potential (VEMP)

Vestibular Evoked Myogenic Potential (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 tests may be combined with additional hearing or diagnostic tests depending on the results.

Video Head Impulse Test (vHIT)

Video Head Impulse Test (vHIT) is an ear specific test that detects a defeciency of the vestibular-ocular reflex (VOR) and abnormalities of the lateral anterior and posterior semi-circular canals.

Call UCHealth Hearing & Balance at (720) 848-2800 for more information or to schedule an appointment.