Vertigo is a feeling of spinning, losing balance, dizziness, nausea, headaches, & vomiting, along with classic vestibular symptoms. Most Vertigo patients feel as if their surroundings are spinning, even when they are not. This condition is usually caused by certain breakages in the transfer of balance & hearing-related information from the inner ear to the brain. What does a VNG (Videonystagmography test) diagnose?
The inner ear houses our vestibular system, which is an intricate network of nerves & organs that help maintain the body’s balance. When certain aspects of this system begin to malfunction, the brain is unable to receive proper information about the body’s position in space, & thus, makes the patient feel dizzy & evokes a false sense of movement, without any actual movement at all.
Various factors can cause vertigo; certain inner ear issues like Meniere’s Disease, Vestibular Neuritis, Labyrinthitis, Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo, to central nervous system disorders like Multiple Sclerosis, mini-stroke, head injuries, etc. Vertigo is common across all age groups, although it is prominently seen among middle-aged people. Vertigo is usually nothing to worry about; it does not constitute a medical emergency.
What is VNG (Videonystagmography test) diagnosis?
However, it sure can make waging through everyday life a little bit more stressful than usual. Vertigo also seems to vanish on its own for some people, fortunately. Some others experience vertigo throughout their lives, although the symptoms are minor enough to not cause any alarm & allow them to lead normal lives, albeit with certain precautions. However, if your vertigo symptoms are especially severe, & interfere with your daily activities, then you should definitely seek out a vertigo specialist.
A vertigo specialist considers your symptoms, & based on your medical history, symptom overlook & certain diagnostic tests, draws up an adequate vertigo treatment strategy for your particular case. Vertigo is notoriously difficult to diagnose, hence it is extremely important for your doctor to effectively & accurately diagnose your exact condition so that your vertigo treatment is precise & efficient.
To help vertigo specialists around the globe, there are certain vertigo diagnostic tests that help determine if you are indeed suffering from vertigo. These tests also help doctors know what type of vertigo you’re suffering from, which further helps them make better, more targeted vertigo treatment strategies for you.
Let’s take a look at some of these vertigo tests below.
Some of the most popular vertigo tests that doctors use to accurately diagnose vertigo in patients are:
The Dix-Hallpike maneuver:
In this, your doctor performs a few simple head maneuvers & looks for any ensuing dizziness. If dizziness appears, you’re probably suffering from Vertigo. It is also the most common diagnostic test for BPPV (Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo), which is a type of vertigo caused by loose calcium crystals depositing in the semicircular canals of the inner ear.
Head Impulse tests:
In this, your doctor rotates your head in certain ways to check for dizziness & any abnormal, rapid eye movements, also called nystagmus. If you show signs of dizziness & nystagmus, then it indicates that you’re probably suffering from vertigo. This test could also be done using cameras to monitor eye movements. It is then called the Video Head Impulse Test (vHIT).
The ENG test also called the Electronystagmography test:
It is a Vertigo test that utilizes electrodes fit around your head to check for any abnormal eye movements when the doctor moves your head in various directions.
The reading of the electrodes is recorded via computers, which a doctor then checks to make an accurate diagnosis about your condition.
This is a video version of the ENG test. In this, tiny cameras are placed around your head to record your eye movements against certain caloric tests, & head movements. The degree of your eye movements in response to the test inputs gives a better idea of your vestibular situation to the doctor.
These are of various types. The most common out of these is the Fukuda-Unterberger test, in which your doctor asks you to walk in a straight line with your eyes closed. They then check the degree of your deviation from the straight line to determine if you’re suffering from vertigo or not.
Other tests used to diagnose vertigo are the Subjective Visual Vertical (SVV) test, the CCG test (Cochleography), & the DVA test (Dynamic Visual Acuity).
In this article, we will talk in detail about the VNG test, or the Videonystagmography test, for Vertigo diagnosis.
The VNG test (Videonystagmography test) for Vertigo diagnosis
The VNG test is a Vertigo test that measures the amount of nystagmus in your eyes. Nystagmus is a type of involuntary eye movement that can be jerky, slow, fast, or random in nature. The VNG test stimulates these jerky eye movements through certain external caloric stimulants or head movements. Unlike an ENG test (Electronystagmography test), these eye movements are not recorded by electrodes placed around your head, rather by video cameras that record your movements in response to the test stimulants.
Like the ENG test, the VNG test also comprises three parts. These are:
In this, your doctor will ask you to follow moving/nonmoving dots on a light bar.
In this, your doctor will move your head & body in different directions while checking the cameras for any nystagmus.
In this, your doctor will introduce warm & cold water/air into your ears to check the functioning of the vestibular system. In the case of warm water/air, your eyes should move towards the source of the temperature change (I.e., the ears), & in the case of cold water/air, they should move away from the ears. If this doesn’t happen, & if your eyes show abnormal movement, it means that your vestibular system isn’t functioning properly. Depending on the exact results of your test, your doctor will prescribe certain medications, vertigo treatment exercises, &/or further tests to you.
Special preparations for the VNG test:
You might need to avoid certain medications a day or two before the test, & might need to make certain changes in your diet. This is done to ensure that your test results are not compromised by any medicines or dietary supplements you might be taking.