How are Vestibular Disorders Diagnosed?

Doctors use information from a person’s medical history and findings from a physical examination as a basis for ordering diagnostic tests to assess the vestibular system function to rule out alternative causes of symptoms.

TESTING VESTIBULAR DYSFUNCTION

The vestibular and visual systems are connected to each other and to the muscles in the eyes and neck that help maintain good balance.  Head movements or other stimulation of the inner ear sends signals through the nervous system to control eye muscle movements.  This forms a reflex pathway called the vestibule-ocular reflex, or VOR.  This system is designed to generate eye movements that maintain clear vision when the head is in motion.  Many vestibular tests use equipment to monitor the eyes for normal and abnormal movements when the vestibular system is stimulated.

  • Electro/Video-Nystagmography (ENG or VNG)

picture1  

  • Rotation Tests

 2

  • Video Head Impulse Testing (VHIT)

 vhit

  • Vestibular Evoked Myogenic Potential (VEMP)

vemp 

  • Computerized Dynamic Postugraphy (CDP)

 cdp

 AUDIOMETRY (HEARING TESTS)

Audiometry measures hearing function.  Hearing evaluations are an important part of vestibular diagnostics, because the inner ear contains both hearing and balance organs.

  • Pure Tone Audiogram
  • Speech Audiogram
  • Immitance testing (Tympanogram and Acoustic Reflexes)
  • Oto-Acoustic Emissions (OAE)
  • Electrocochleography (ECOG)
  • Auditory Brainstem Response Test (ABR)

 

MAGNETIC RESONANCE IMAGING (MRI)

An MRI of the brain can reveal the presence of tumours, stroke damage, and other soft-tissue abnormalities that might cause dizziness or vertigo. MRIs of structures in and around the inner ear can be helpful in the diagnosis of some vestibular disorders.

 

COMPUTERIZED AXIAL TOMOGRAPHY (CAT OR CT)

A CT scan is an X-ray technique that is best for studying bony structures.  The inner ear is inside of the skull’s temporal bone on each side.  These scans are often used to look for abnormalities around the inner ear, such as fractures or areas with thinning bone.

WHO PERFORMS VESTIBULAR TESTING?

  • An Audiologist for hearing and balance related testing.
  • Physio Therapist for gait or balance related testing.
  • A Radiologist for imaging testing.

BOOK YOUR APPOINTMENT TODAY HERE!

What are the Symptoms of a Vestibular Disorder?

dizzy

  1. Vertigo and Dizziness
  • Spinning sensation, an illusion of movement of self or the world (vertigo)
  • Lightheaded, floating, or rocking sensation (dizziness).
  1. Balance and Spatial Orientation
  • Imbalance, stumbling, difficulty walking straight or turning a corner.
  • Clumsiness or difficulty with coordination.
  • Difficulty maintaining straight posture.
  • Tendency to touch or hold onto something.
  • Difficulty finding stability in crowds or in large open spaces.
  1. Vision
  • Trouble focusing or tracking objects with the eyes
  • Discomfort from busy visual environments such as traffic, crowds, stores and patterns.
  • Sensitivity to light, glare and moving flickering lights
  • Sensitivity to certain types of computer monitors and digital televisions.
  • Poor depth perception.
  • Increased night blindness, difficulty walking in the dark.
  1. Hearing changes
  • Hearing loss, distorted or fluctuating hearing.
  • Tinnitus (ringing, buzzing or other noises in the ear).
  • Sensitivity to loud noises or environments.
  • Sudden loud noises may increase symptoms of vertigo, dizziness, or imbalance.
  1. Cognitive
  • Difficulty concentrating and paying attention, easily distracted.
  • Forgetfulness and short-term memory lapses.
  • Confusion, disorientation, difficulty comprehending directions or instructions.
  • Mental and physical fatigue

BOOK YOUR APPOINTMENT TODAY HERE!