The term Vertigo is often used interchangeably with dizziness. Where Vertigo can be described as a false sense of motion, dizziness is a non-specific term used to describe a sense of imbalance.
The main components of the balance system are visual, vestibular, and proprioceptive (e.g. having your feet on the ground tells your body that you are standing upright). The central processing centre (the brain and its neural pathways) is responsible for relaying messages from these components. When there is a disturbance in any of these components or in the central processing centre, dizziness may occur.
The balance test helps to locate the source of the dizziness or vertigo. The main components of the balance assessment are:
This test is carried out by placing video goggles on the patient. The camera records the eye movements as the patient follows a moving light on the screen. There are various visual tests carried out and the eye movements are examined, recorded and analysed by the Audiologist. The VNG assessment can help in the diagnosis of central disorders.
In conducting this test, both ears are irrigated with both warm and cool air. The Audiologist examines the patient’s eye movements during testing using video goggles. The caloric process is useful in detecting a weakness in the vestibular (balance) system.
Following assessment and review of the findings, the Audiologist reports back to the referring Consultant and makes recommendations as to rehabilitation as necessary.