Everyone experiences dizziness differently. For many, dizziness is experienced as a sensation of lightheadedness or faintness. Many experience dizziness as the sensation of motion in the absence of movement. Others report a sensation of spinning in which they are moving or their environment is spinning around them (vertigo). Describing exactly what you experience when you feel dizzy will aid your physician in determining its cause.
Nausea and anxiety may accompany dizziness. Dizziness can occur along side other symptoms such as pressure or fullness in the head or ears and ringing in the ears (tinnitus). It is important to report these symptoms to your doctor. Also the experience of dizziness may affect your ability to maintain balance and perform activities of daily living.
Causes of Dizziness
- Problems with the central nervous system
- Medication-related side effect
- Cardiovascular problems
- Problems with your inner ear
Dynamic Posturography (Equilibrium Platform Test)
This test will assess the components of your balance system in an upright position. Testing is performed on a machine, which has the ability to alter specific sensory inputs you use to maintain balance. You will be closely monitored during the evaluation in addition you will be fitted with a safety jacket to eliminate any risk of falling. Your task is to try to maintain balance throughout the process. Six test conditions will be performed using three 20-second trials for each. This test takes between 20 to 30 minutes.
Vestibular Function Test (Rotary Chair Testing)
This test measures the vestibular-occular reflex. During head movements the vestibular system (located in the inner ear) sends signals to your occular (eye) muscles to stabilize your vision. This test will assess this reflex. You will be fitted with a headpiece that houses two small cameras to record eye movements. Afterwards, you will be seated in a chair within a six-foot enclosure. The chair will move slowly back and forth to stimulate the reflex while the mounted cameras record eye movements. The test is made up of 8 parts, the longest lasting 3 minutes. Breaks can be taken between tests as needed. The entire test time should not exceed 30 minutes.
Visual-Vestibular Integration Test (Rotary Chair Testing)
Test preparation is described above. Testing determines your ability to either enhance or suppress your vestibular reflex. During testing you will be instructed to follow certain targets with your eyes without the chair moving. Test time is 15 minutes.
- Do not take tranquilizers, antidepressants, antihistamines, sleeping pills or any medicine prescribed for dizziness up to 48 hours before your appointment. If you have questions about specific medications please call the office and one of our physicians will review and give you specific recommendations. It is not recommended that you discontinue scheduled medications without authorization from your prescribing physician.
- If you are on medication for heart problems, diabetes, blood pressure or seizure disorder, you must continue your daily dose.
- Please avoid caffeine for 24 hours prior to the testing. This is recommended for best test results. If you have had decaffeinated coffee, or a small amount of caffeine and it has been several hours, you will likely be able to proceed with your test anyway.
- Please avoid alcoholic beverages for 24 hours prior to testing. Alcoholic beverages can negatively impact your testing.
- Please do not wear any facial or eye makeup to your appointment. Dark eye makeup, such as mascara or eyeliner will have to be removed prior to testing as it interferes with our recording equipment which is designed to detect eye movement by focusing in on the darkest part of the eyes, your pupils.
- Please allow yourself 60-90 minutes for testing.