Ears and Hearing

Videonystagmography (VNG)

Your physician has asked you to have a VNG test. This is a test of your balance or vestibular system. Your eye movements are the objective measure of dizziness, vertigo or imbalance. The test is performed with goggles that have infra-red cameras inside and magnify and record your eye movements during the test.

The test is divided into three parts: 1) visual testing during which you will watch a target that moves either horizontally or vertically and in various patterns; 2) positional testing, in which you will be moved through several head and body positions ; and 3) caloric testing in which warm or cool air is applied to each ear for 30 seconds. This application of water changes the temperature within the balance mechanism and creates an artificial sense of movement or dizziness which does not last more than one to two minutes. Patients are often concerned when they are told they will be made to feel dizzy; however, dizziness is a healthy response under these conditions and the sensations will fade quickly.

Prior to the testing, the patients should avoid certain medications, coffee and caffeine drinks and alcohol for 48-72 hours before the appointment as these can affect the test responses. These include the following:

  • Tranquilizers
  • Pain killers with codeine, vicodin, barbiturates
  • Meclizine or Antivert
  • Anti-depressants
  • Narcotics
  • Alcohol

If you are taking medications for your heart, blood pressure ,diabetes, thyroid, or anti-seizure medications, DO NOT stop taking these. If you have questions about your medications, please call the Audiology Department.

The test will take an hour or more. Wear comfortable clothing and blouses or shirts that will not be affected if in contact with water. Please DO NOT wear any eye make up! The infra-red cameras will not focus properly if eye make up has been applied. Again, if you have any questions regarding the test, please contact us.

Click here for VNG Instructions

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