Vestibular and 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 suffer from dizziness or loss of balance, you’re not alone! Balance disorders are some of the most common complaints heard by physicians today. Over 90 million Americans have experienced a balance problem. Dizziness and balance problems can be caused by the normal process of aging, but can also be triggered by inner ear disorders or other neurological problems.
At Rocky Mountain Hearing and Balance, we believe in taking a team approach to best address your dizziness and/or imbalance problems. This includes working closely with your primary care physician and other specialists including otologists, neurotologists, neurologists, or physical therapists as needed.
Why Should You Get Help For Dizziness and Balance Problems?
People who suffer from dizziness or loss of balance, including vertigo, are more likely to injure themselves in falls. Even if people with balance problems don’t injure themselves, they often seriously limit their activities simply because they are afraid of falling. If you are one of these people, it’s time to take action and return to a full, active lifestyle. A visit to Rocky Mountain Hearing & Balance will put you firmly on your path to recovery.
What is a Vestibular or Balance Evaluation?
Vestibular evaluation and balance evaluation are general terms used to indicate a series of tests used to evaluate the health of your vestibular system (the balance portion of inner ear) and your central motor function. Testing commonly includes an audiometric/hearing evaluation to check for abnormalities that may be affecting both the hearing and balance portion of the inner ear, Videonystagmography (VNG) to evaluate central and peripheral vestibular health and function, and Postural Stability testing to evaluate fall risk. VNG testing includes checks for Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV), caloric irrigation, ocular motor testing, and evaluation for nystagmus. Additional testing may include Vestibular Evoked Myogenic Potential (VEMP) or Electrocochleography (EcoG) testing. VEMP testing is commonly used as part of superior canal dehiscence (SCD) evaluation.
Preparing for VNG testing
The nature of this testing may require you to make some preparations before your evaluation. Our staff will provide you with clear instructions on how to prepare for your examination. This may include discontinued use of certain medications & avoiding alcoholic beverages at least 48 hours before the tests, removing eye makeup prior to your appointment, and not eating or drinking for a few hours prior to testing. If you have any questions about your instructions or how to prepare for the test, consult your physician or Rocky Mountain Hearing and Balance. The evaluation can last 60 to 130 minutes (depending on what tests are scheduled) and can cause some dizziness. This dizziness usually subsides within a short period of time.
Citations- Imbalance Statistics, The Dizziness & Balance Center at the University of Washington: www.depts.washington.edu/coursejo/background.html