Dizziness will happen to about 70% of the population at some point in their life. If you’re someone who is experiencing dizziness, you could have a vestibular disorder, and you might need a VNG.
But what is a VNG? Keep reading to discover everything you need to know about this procedure and what to expect from it.
What Is a VNG?
A vestibular nystagmogram (VNG) is a test that measures your involuntary eye movement. This involuntary movement is called nystagmus.
These movements might be fast or slow, and some people have jerky movements. The nystagmus causes your eyes to move either up or down or from side to side.
It can happen if your brain is getting the wrong information from your inner ear and your eyes. These confusing messages can make you feel dizzy.
It could briefly happen when you move your head too much or in a certain way. If you get it after not moving your head for a while, you might have a vestibular system disorder.
Your vestibular system consists of your nerves, organs, and the structure of your inner ear. This is what helps your body maintain balance.
The vestibular system often works hand-in-hand with your eyes, touch, and brain. However, if this communication isn’t working well, you may need a VNG.
Why Might You Need One?
You might need one of these tests if you show any of the symptoms that are associated with a vestibular disorder.
The primary symptom that you need to look out for is dizziness. You may also feel like you can’t get your balance.
You could also feel like your surroundings are also spinning, lightheadedness, staggering, or feeling like you’re going to faint at any moment.
You may also have involuntary eye movements, ringing in your ears, pressure in your ear, or confusion.
Who Does a VNG?
If you have any of these symptoms, you’ll need to find a VNG provider. Many healthcare specialists can provide this test, but there are more common ones.
For example, you may go to a neurologist. These are physicians that are specialized in the nervous system and the brain.
You may also go to an audiologist, which is a physician that specializes in balance disorders and hearing.
What Should You Expect?
The day that you take the test, you’ll have to sit in the exam room with a pair of goggles on.
While you’re wearing the goggles, you’ll need to take three parts of the test. First, you’ll have to take an eye test.
You’ll see different flashes of light or dots while you’re holding your head still. While you’re wearing the goggles, you’ll have to track these objects with your eyes. The technician will be looking to see if you can follow the visual targets.
Next, you’ll do positional testing. You will have to move your body or head to different positions. If your eyes do involuntary movements while you’re moving, they’ll know something is wrong.
This test will see if your inner ear system is working properly. There might be something in your inner ear that is running the flow of fluid and making your eyes move awkwardly.
Lastly, you’ll have to do caloric testing as well. Your healthcare provider will send warm or cool air into each ear. You might notice that when this happens, your eyes will involuntarily move.
You may have to take the goggles off and do a mobility test as well. The doctor will ask you to follow certain objects with your eyes. The objects might stay in one spot, move smoothly, or bounce around.
The technician will be looking at your eyes to see how accurate or fast you are with tracking these objects. If it’s too slow or you can’t accurately follow the objects, there could be an issue with the pathway that connects your brain to your vestibular system.
This test can take up to sixty minutes, but you should ask your provider for an accurate estimate.
What Might the Results Mean?
When you get the results from your test, it might mean that you have a vestibular disorder. There are many disorders that could, and your doctor will have to talk about the results with you.
However, if you have an abnormal result, you could have something like Meniere’s disease. This is a disease that causes dizziness, and it normally only affects one ear. There isn’t any cure for it, but you can take steps to manage it.
Your results could also indicate labyrinthitis. This disorder can cause imbalance if your inner ear is swollen or infected. Sometimes this disorder can go away on its own, but you could also get antibiotics if you have an infection.
What Are the Risks?
There are risks associated with this test, but they’re very minor and temporary.
The test might make you experience more dizziness for a few minutes. You might want to have someone ready to drive you home in case your dizziness lasts longer.
If you’re already prone to dizzy spells, you may be more likely to experience them after this test.
Learn More About a VNG and Other Kinds of Tests
If you’re still wondering, “What is a VNG?” we can help you out. We’re neurologists that are highly skilled and experienced in this disorder, and we can help you get the right treatment.
Check out our website to schedule your test today!