Vertigo is a common occurrence for the vast majority of people. Vertigo is characterized by spinning sensations, accompanied by dizziness & feeling faint & woozy. In certain cases, Vertigo also occurs along with migraine headaches & sensations of being off-balance & disoriented. Vertigo is caused by a variety of factors. Inner ear problems are the most common causes, & rarely, problems with the brain & the vestibular system also lead to spells of vertigo. here know about the Videonystagmography diagnostic test.
Some of the most common causes of vertigo are:
- BPPV, benign paroxysmal positional vertigo,
- Meniere’s Disease
- Vestibular Neuritis, also known as labyrinthitis
Vertigo can also be caused by factors such as:
- Head or neck injury
- Issues with the brain such as a stroke or a tumor
- Medications that can lead to ear damage
- Migraine intensity headaches
Vertigo can present in various different ways. However, there are certain universal symptoms of vertigo that can help patients & doctors determine if Vertigo is indeed the diagnosis for the individual.
These Vertigo symptoms include:
- Spinning sensations,
- Swaying sensations,
- Tilting sensations,
- Feeling unbalanced & disoriented
- Pulled in one direction
Some other Vertigo symptoms include:
- Feelings of nausea,
- Abnormal, jerking eye movements called nystagmus
- Profusely sweating
- Ringing in the ears or hearing loss
These Vertigo symptoms can come & go in intervals, & may last for anywhere between 20 minutes to 2 hours.
There are various Vertigo tests. These tests focus on the proper functioning of the vestibular system, & determine if any issues with their coordination are causing the Vertigo symptoms.
Some of the best-known Vertigo tests that doctors use to give out an accurate diagnosis of Vertigo are:
- The dix-Hallpike maneuver, which is used to determine if your Vertigo is caused by an issue with the brain or the vestibular system. During this test, your doctor will turn your head 45 degrees to one side. After that, you’ll lie on your back, with your head off the side of the table you’re lying on while maintaining the 45 degrees angle for the next 30 seconds at least. All this while, your doctor will be inspecting your eyes, enquiring if you feel any dizziness. Your doctor will then ask you to perform the procedure on the other side. This test, like all other Vertigo tests, can trigger bouts of Vertigo.
- Head Impulse Test, which is used to determine if your eyes & ears are coordinated. If your doctors suspect you suffer from vestibular Neuritis, then they may use this test to effectively diagnose it. In this test, your doctor quickly rotates your head to check for any irregularities in the movements of your eyes in coordination with your ears.
- Romberg test, which is used to determine how much you sway from a specific standing position.
- Fukuda-Unterberger test, which is used to determine which side of your body is affected by Vertigo.
- Electronystagmography(ENG test) or Videonystagmography(VNG test), that determines any abnormal eye movements & determine if your abnormal eye movements are because of an inner ear issue. The ENG test uses certain electrodes, while the VNG test uses small cameras to determine abnormal eye movements while your head is placed in different positions & angles. Your doctor may also ask you to track certain visual targets & determine your eye movements with the help of electrodes & small cameras.
During this test, air & water may also be used to control the temperature of your ear canal. Both of these tests are usually performed in a dark room, & may trigger jerking eye movements along with dizziness & nausea in certain cases.
In this article, we will study the Videonystagmography Vertigo test in detail.
What is Videonystagmography Test (VNG test)?
Videonystagmography (VNG test) is a type of Vertigo test that measures involuntary eye movements called nystagmus. These movements may be slow & steady, as well as fast & jerky.
Nystagmus leads your eyes to move from side to side or up & down. It is caused by the brain receiving conflicting signals from the eyes & the ears due to either an inner ear issue or a brain glitch. These constant conflicting messages from the eyes & the ears might lead to the patient feel dizzy & might cause symptoms of Vertigo. Issues in the body’s vestibular system, which is a network of organs, nerves, & structures that help control the body’s balance, lead to Vertigo cases for most people.
Videonystagmography Vertigo test determines the extent of the discoordination between the body’s balance organs.
How is the Videonystagmography test performed:
A VNG test for Vertigo is usually performed by one of the following kinds of specialists:
- An Audiologist, a doctor that specializes in problems with the ears & hearing,
- An otolaryngologist (ENT), a doctor specializing in treating various conditions of the ears, nose, and throat
- A neurologist, a doctor that specializes in diagnosing and treating diseases of the brain & the nervous system,
During a VNG test, your doctor will make you sit in a dark room with special goggles that have cameras attached to them to detect eye movements. The Videonystagmography test is carried out in three parts:
- Ocular Testing, which involves the patient tracking moving & non-moving dots on a light bar,
- Positional Testing, which involves your doctor moving your head & body in different positions. They will then check your eyes for nystagmus & dizziness.
- Caloric testing, this involves your doctor putting warm & cold water or air into your ears to check for nystagmus. Ideally, cold water or air, when put inside the ear, should cause nystagmus. The eyes should move away from the influx of cold water or air, coming to their original position only slowly. If the eyes don’t respond in this way, it might mean that the inner ear nerves have sustained damages. Your doctor will also use this test to check if one of your ears responds to the stimulus differently than the other. In case one of your ears is damaged, then that ear may respond differently from one or not respond at all.
Before the VNG test for Vertigo, your doctor might ask you to make certain changes to your diet or stay off certain medications to avoid any interference with the nerve stimulus.
Like all the other diagnostic tests for Vertigo, the VNG test might also lead to short bouts of dizziness & Vertigo. In case the dizziness lasts for longer than expected, then you might need to make certain arrangements for someone to be present with you to avoid getting hurt or getting into accidents.
Results of VNG Test for Vertigo
If after the VNG test your doctor determines that your nystagmus falls under the normal brackets, then you don’t have any disorder. In this case, your vestibular system is working perfectly.
However, if the VNG test yields a negative result for you, then you might be suffering from either Meniere’s Disease or Labyrinthitis. Once a proper diagnosis for your condition is found, your doctor will then begin a course of Vertigo treatment consisting of Vertigo medicines & Vertigo exercises to treat your condition.