What Is VNG Testing?

Videonystagmography (VNG) is a test that determines whether you have a vestibular disorder. When there is something wrong with the vestibular system of the inner ear, you’ll experience dizziness, vertigo, imbalance and/or falls. Testing is the first step toward treatment.

What Does VNG Measure?person balancing on beam

When the brain gets conflicting messages from the eyes and the vestibular system in your inner ear
, it causes involuntary eye movements called nystagmus. These movements can be slow or fast, steady or erratic, as well as side-to-side, up-and-down or both. VNG measures these movements to determine if there is a disconnect between your body’s orientation and what your balance system is signaling.

Who Needs VNG Testing?

Anyone who has issues with dizziness or balance is a candidate for VNG. Aside from feeling unsteady, symptoms of a balance disorder include:

  • Vertigo
  • Nausea
  • Lightheadedness
  • Staggering
  • Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
  • Fullness/pressure in the ears
  • Disorientation

If you have a combination of any of these symptoms, your physician may recommend VNG testing.

What Happens During VNG Testing?

During VNG testing, you’ll sit in a dark room in your audiologist’s office and wear special goggles that record your eye movements. There are three parts to VNG tests:

  • Ocular testing. During this part of the test, you will watch and follow dots on a light bar. They may be moving or still.
  • Positional testing. For this, your provider will move your head and body into various positions while checking to see if these movements are triggering nystagmus.
  • Caloric testing. Finally, your provider will drip warm and cool water or puff warm and cool air into each ear. Cold should trigger nystagmus as the eyes move away from the cold ear and then slowly back. Warm should cause your eyes to move toward the affected ear then slowly back. If this does not occur, it may indicate damage to the nerves to the inner ear. Your provider will put warm and cold into both ears to see if one side or both is affected.

For more information about vestibular disorders or testing methods, contact your provider at Hearing Services of Santa Barbara to schedule a visit today!

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Our Santa Barbara Audiologists Office Locations

Santa Barbara
5333 Hollister Avenue, Suite 165
Santa Barbara, CA 93111
(805) 967-4200
2030 Viborg Road, Suite 100
Solvang, CA 93463
(805) 688-3100

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