More than seven million people in the U.S. have vertigo, with approximately 50,000 of them living in Colorado. If you think you have one, your Colorado ENT might recommend a couple of tests to determine if you indeed are suffering from vertigo and find the underlying reason behind it. Many of these tests need special equipment, and some evaluations could be painless and quick, while other tests might be uncomfortable and time-consuming.
Once you’ve informed your doctor about your symptoms and they’ve documented your medical history, you might have to undergo one or more of these tests:
The Head Impulse Test
This will assess how well or not your inner ears and eyes work together. During the test, your doctor would rotate your head swiftly to see if you exhibit certain reflex functions and rapid eye motions that could indicate you have an issue with your inner ear’s semicircular canals.
The Dix-Hallpike Maneuver
This is the most commonly used test when doctors suspect a patient has benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV). The test can help your doctor determine if your symptoms are because of a brain glitch or problem with the inner ear. Your doctor will start by turning your head 45 degrees to one side. You’ll then be instructed to lie quickly on your back and position your head on the side of the table, while holding the 45-degree position of your head for 30 seconds at least. Your doctor would then examine your eyes to see if you feel any dizziness.
The Romberg Test
During this test, your doctor will tell you to stand straight with your feet together while closing your eyes to determine how much you fall or sway.
The Fukuda-Unterberger Test
During this test, you’ll be asked to march while your eyes are closed so your doctor can determine what side of the body your vertigo is affecting.
These could involve moving your head from one side to another so that your doctor could evaluate your eye movements. You might also be instructed to sit still in a moving chair or direct your stare at a target while moving your head up and down or back and forth.
Videonystagmography (VNG) and Electronystagmography (ENG)
These are used for detecting strange eye movements to figure out if you have a problem with your inner ear.
Other tests that your doctor might recommend for diagnosing vertigo are hearing tests, vision tests, posturography, vestibular evoked myogenic potential (VEMP), CT scan, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan, allergy tests, and blood tests.
The specific test you need to undergo would depend on your symptoms and what might be causing them. This means that it’s vital to inform your doctor of your symptoms so they can help diagnose any medical condition that’s causing your vertigo and treat it promptly. It is, however, important to note that in some cases, the cause of vertigo might not be determined even after various tests. If this happens to you, don’t fret, as there are various effective treatments that could help ease your vertigo symptoms.