Vestibular evaluation is a variety of tests used to examine and diagnose the vestibular portion of the inner ear, which is responsible for balance. These tests can determine find the cause of dizziness, and help patients find the most effective treatment. Some vestibular tests include:
Electronystagmography (ENG) – This is the most common test used to evaluate the vestibular system. Electrodes are taped close to the eyes, and a computer records results as patients follow a moving light with their eyes while they sit and lie in different positions. Eye movements are driven by the balance organs whenever the head is moving and can therefore be used to evaluate the balance system.
Posturography – The patient stands on a platform that moves back and forth slightly. This measures how well patients can maintain their balance. A safety harness is worn to protect the patient from falling.
Rotational Chair Test – Electrodes are placed near the patient’s eyes so that eye movements can be recorded. The patient sits on a chair that gently swivels from side to side.
Fistula Test – This test is used to detect perilymphatic fistula (PF), a small tear in the membrane that separates the middle ear from the inner ear. Air pressure is applied to each ear canal and the patient is monitored for abnormal eye movements or balance changes.