Balance testing

The purpose of a balance assessment is to evaluate the possible cause of dizziness, imbalance and vertigo.

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This part of the test evaluates the function of the balance organs of the inner ear. During the test, you will be lying comfortably on your back while wearing the capped goggles. Cool air, followed by warm air will be introduced into each ear canal for approximately 1 minute at a time. The change in the temperature of the ear canal will induce some dizziness. It is important to remember that while you may feel dizzy during this test, you should feel better by the time you leave.

The test involves wearing special goggles which monitor the eye movements as the head is moved abruptly in different directions. Individuals with normal balance can maintain a steady gaze but those with defective semi-circular canal function cannot keep up. The vHIT provides an independent assessment of each ear (similar to the caloric test which assesses the lateral canals and superior vestibular nerve) but also assesses the anterior and posterior semi-circular canals.

The vestibular evoked myogenic potential or VEMP is a neurophysiological test used to determine the function of the otolithic organs (utricle and saccule) of the inner ear.
It complements the information provided by VNG and the vHIT. VEMP’s is a useful test which can identify the presence of Superior Semi-circular Canal Dihiscence (SSCD).

Electrocochleography is a technique used for recording electrical potentials generated in the inner ear and auditory nerve in response to sounds presented in the ear. The responses are elicited by placing an electrode in the inner ear and recording the electrical potentials elicited in response to sounds presented. ECochG is useful in assisting in the diagnosis of Meniere’s Disease and is part of the balance assessment.

This screening test evaluates the individual’s level of pro-prioception (balance) on a sold surface and on a dynamic surface (cushion) with vision (eyed open) and vision denied (eyes closed). This test also evaluates the individuals fall risk.