Sinus Surgery

Dizziness & Balance Testing

Audiology Hearing Center

Dizziness & Balance Testing

One in 10 visits to a physician’s office is regarding a complaint of dizziness or imbalance. Often these complaints are dismissed as a normal part of the aging process. However vertigo and related balance difficulties may have significant impact on an individual’s daily life and activity. Dizziness or imbalance may lead to minor or even major injuries. In the elderly population, these injuries may result in a need for assistive living and an associated loss of independence. Evaluation and diagnosis may lead to a management plan that will help control the effects of the dizziness, decrease the risk of injury, and lead to increased functional independence.

Those individuals that might benefit from the following testing:

Procedures utilized to evaluate dizziness and imbalance symptoms may include (but are not limited to) the following:

Dizziness Questionnaire

Download Questionnaire


Auditory Brainsetm Response (ABR)

An AUDITORY BRAINSTEM RESPONSE (ABR) is an examination an audiologist can perform which measures the brain’s response to sound. Electrodes are placed in strategic locations on the head and/or ears to determine how well the auditory nerve transmits the signal from the cochlea (the end organ of hearing in the inner ear) to the brain. Sounds (acoustic clicks) are presented to each ear individually, and the electrodes pick up the electrical responses generated in response as these impulses travel up the auditory pathway. The procedure is not invasive, and the patient may sleep during the examination. The ABR typically takes 45 minutes to complete.

An ABR is ordered by a physician, physician’s assistant, or a nurse practitioner. This is one of many tests that may be recommended to evaluate dizziness, balance problems, hearing loss, ear pressure and/or ear noises (tinnitus). Specifically, the test helps to determine whether or not there is a blockage in the transmission of electrical signals to the brain. A small percentage of patients may have benign growths (acoustic neuroma, or vestibular schwannoma) on the eighth cranial nerve, leading from the ear to the brain. This test can help determine if such a benign growth is present.

Casual, comfortable clothing is recommended. There are no other special instructions for this examination and you may resume your normal activities immediately following the examination.

Please contact our office to schedule an appointment, or with any questions regarding this information: 703-858-5885.

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Electrocochleography (ECOG)

Electrocochleography is a test ordered by a physician, physician’s assistant, or nurse practitioner that helps determine whether or not there is an abnormal increase in fluid pressure in the inner ear. The test helps to rule out various conditions of the inner ear such as Meniere’s disease. 

Electrocochleography measures the electrical potentials generated in the inner ear in response to stimulation by sound.  Electrodes are placed in the ear canal and on the forehead to record these impulses as acoustic clicks are presented to each ear individually.  These recordings are evaluated to determine how the inner ear and hearing nerve (VIII cranial nerve) are functioning. The examination takes 45 to 60 minutes to complete.  Antihistamines and diuretics should be discontinued 48 hours prior to testing.  Normal activities may be resumed immediately following the examination.

Please contact our office to schedule an appointment, or with any questions regarding this information: 703-858-5885.

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Videonystagmography (VNG)

Videonystagmography (VNG) is a procedure used to evaluate the balance system. Infrared recordings of eye movements are obtained via goggles worn by the patient throughout the examination. There are three portions: The first section evaluates the patient’s ability to follow different types of visual "targets" with their eyes. The second section evaluates eye movement behavior in response to changes in head and body position. In the third and final section, the ears are irrigated with cool and warm air or water, which may induce a sensation of movement. The recordings from these tests will be used to determine the integrity of the organs of balance housed within the inner ear.

Certain types of medication will affect the ENG results and therefore, should not be taken at least 48 hours prior to the test date. A list of these medications is given below:

1. Sleeping pills
2. Tranquilizers
3. Antihistamines
4. Barbiturates
5. Alcoholic beverages
6. Anti-dizzy drugs
7. Sedatives
8. Muscle relaxants
9. Diuretics
10. If you are on other medications, please call to see if they should be stopped

**DO NOT DISCONTINUE THE USE OF ANY PRESCRIBED MEDICATION WITHOUT FIRST CONSULTING YOUR PHYSICIAN**

It is also recommended that you do not eat, smoke or drink caffeinated beverages 3 to 4 hours before your test appointment. Do not wear any makeup. Casual, comfortable clothing is recommended. Contact lenses should not be worn.

Please contact our office to schedule an appointment, or with any questions regarding this information: 703-858-5885.

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