Balance tests are a series of tests that check for balance disorders. Symptoms of balance disorders can include vertigo or dizziness, lightheadedness, disorientation, and feelings of falling.
Different systems in your body need to work together for you to have a good balance. The most important system is called the vestibular system. The vestibular system is complex and responsible for many of the body’s functions. To narrow down the exact cause of dizziness, it is necessary to administer different tests. These measure eye movements, head movements, hearing, and more.
- Videonystagmography (VNG). This is a series of tests that measures eye movements using a video camera attached to a pair of goggles. VNG testing consists of evaluations of rapid eye movement, tracking eye movement as they follow a target, positional testing, and a caloric test to measure the response to the air of different temperatures moving through the ear canal.
- Vestibular Evoked Myogenic Potential (VEMP). VEMP testing is used to determine whether the saccule (an inner ear organ) and vestibular nerves are functioning properly. Electrodes are attached to the neck and sounds are transmitted through a pair of headphones. The electrical response of the sternocleidomastoid muscle in the neck is recorded.
These tests may be combined with additional hearing or diagnostic tests depending on the results.