Balance patient info

Balance Testing
Why have I been referred for vestibular / balance testing?
Patients suffering from dizziness or imbalance may be referred for balance tests
within the Vestibular Clinic to investigate the cause of the problem or symptoms.
The most likely route of referral is through an Ear, Nose and Throat doctor
following consultation.
What can I expect during a balance function test?
The appointment takes approximately 2-3 hours to complete. We recommend
that you do not drive on the day of testing and patients are advised not to take
any medication for their balance for 48 hours prior to the tests. The tests are
completely painless but some of them may make you feel a little unsteady, dizzy
or occasionally slightly nauseous for a few minutes.
The audiologist will take a detailed history from you asking specifically about the
nature of your symptoms. You will have a hearing test and tests of your standing
balance ability. The main section of tests that will be carried out are concerned
with recording your eye movements under different conditions.
The eye movements are recorded onto a computer for fine analysis using either
goggles with inset cameras or by placing sticky pads with sensors either side of
your eyes. You will be asked to follow a brightly lit target with your eyes whilst
holding your head still.
To test the balance function of each ear individually the audiologist may
introduce a small amount of water into each ear canal. You may feel a sensation
of turning that may last for approximately one minute. The results of this test can
indicate if there is an imbalance between the functioning of the balance organs
giving rise to a balance disorder.
How should I prepare for the balance tests?
1. Do not take the following medications for 24 hours before your test:
Tranquilizers, sleeping pills, drugs for dizziness.
2. Do not drink any alcohol for 24 hours before testing.
3. Do not smoke, or drink caffeine (coffee, tea, or cola) for 2 hours before
your test.
4. Do not wear makeup (including mascara).
5. You may feel more comfortable bringing someone with you, to drive you
home if you feel dizzy after testing.
What happens after the test?
Following completion of the tests the results will be analysed and a final report
will be sent to your referring consultant. He/She will then advise you as to the
next step.
Please contact the Audiology Department if you have any other queries or
concerns on 02392 286454