VNG Balance 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. If you are experiencing vertigo or balance issues, your doctor may want to refer you for a VNG balance evaluation.

What is a VNG Balance Evaluation?

VNG stands for videonystagmography, which is a series of tests that evaluate the health of your inner ear and your central motor function. VNG testing can possibly uncover the root cause of your vertigo, dizziness or balance issues, and allow your doctor or audiologist to treat it appropriately and effectively.

What Tests Will Be Performed?

VNG testing consists of a variety of tests to uncover the root cause of your symptoms. Most VNG evaluations consist of four main tests:

Positional Nystagmus

This test will help to give an idea of the health of your inner ear system. You will be asked to move your head and body into different positions, checking for inappropriate eye movements in each position. If there is any fluid blockage in the inner ear, it could be the cause of vertigo or balance issues.

Dix-Hallpike (Positioning Testing)

This test checks for BPPV (benign paroxysmal positional vertigo), one of the most common forms of dizziness. BPPV typically occurs with certain movements, such as looking up, bending over, laying down in bed or rolling over. It is characterized as a brief burst of vertigo, often accompanied by nausea.

Caloric Testing

This test can determine if you have vestibular weakness in one or both ears by checking to see if your ears can detect sensations properly. Your eyes will be monitored while your inner ears are stimulated (one at a time) with cold water or air/warm water.

Preparing for VNG 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. For example, we may ask you to discontinue certain medications, not to consume any alcoholic beverages or caffeinated drinks at least 48 hours before the tests, to remove contact lenses or eyeglasses or to fast for a few hours prior to testing. The exact instructions may vary from patient to patient. If you have any questions about your instructions or how to prepare for the test, ask your audiologist.

The entire VNG evaluation typically lasts about 90 minutes and 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.