Balance Laboratory Testing

Patients suffering from dizziness can receive specialized testing to diagnose balance and orientation disorders. The standard tests include video- or electro-nystagmography (VNG/ENG) with head rotation, rotatory testing, and posturography. These tests are performed automatically on all patients referred for balance testing, unless special requests are made by your physician, or limitations are imposed by insurance. Tests are performed by a trained technician and interpreted by the Lab Director, Gary D. Paige, M.D., Ph.D. A written report is then sent to your doctor within one week.

What to Know Before Your Visit

Please do not take any medications specifically for your dizziness for at least one day prior to testing. Do not eat, drink caffeinated or alcoholic beverages, or smoke for 4 hours prior to testing.

Standard Tests

Video- or Electro-Nystagmography (VNG/ENG) with Head Rotation

During the VNG/ENG test, your eye movements are measured as you track targets on a light bar, shake your head, and perform postural positioning tasks. Another test involves having a small balloon placed in your ear. Warm and cool water passes through the balloon, but no water enters your ear. The purpose of this test is to stimulate the balance organs of the inner ear and determine how well your balance system is working. The VNG/ENG test takes approximately one hour. All of these tests are safe and non-invasive.

Rotatory Testing

Rotatory testing, in which you are gently oscillated back and forth on a motorized chair, is sometimes performed. A simplified headshake version is included in the VNG/ENG.

Posturography

Posturography will directly measure your ability to maintain balance. You will stand on a platform with a landscape screen around you. You are then presented with different conditions to determine how steadily you can stand. This test takes 15-20 minutes.