If you have problems with your balance and suffering from vertigo, your GP may refer you to an Ears, Nose and Throat (ENT) consultant . If required ENT may then arrange for you to see Hearing Services for a balance test, also known as a vestibular assessment.
How long does a balance assessment take and what does it involve?
The appointment takes approximately 1-2 hours to complete. The tests are completely painless but some may invoke a reaction making you feel a dizzy, a little unsteady or slightly nauseous for a few minutes.
The audiologist will take a detailed history from you asking about the nature of your symptoms and measure your middle ear movement using a tympanometer The tests carried out are concerned with recording your eye movements under different conditions. These movements are recorded onto a computer using a pair of goggles with a built in camera. You will be asked to follow a series of light dots across a small screen. It may also be nessesary to move your head into different positions.
The second part of the test, if required, is to record the balance function of each individual ear, this is call a Caloric. The audiologist introduces a small amount of warm and cold water into each ear canal. You may feel a sensation of spinning that may last for approximately one minute.
After the assessment the Audiologist will analyse the results of the test and send the report the consultant who will contact you regarding the results.
After the test we suggest that you sit somewhere quietly. There is coffee shop in the building where you can get a drink.
Please prepare yourself before your visit as we may not be able to carry on with the appointment
1. Arrange for someone to accompany you on your visit, as it is advised that you do not drive home yourself.
2. Do not take the following medications Tranquilizers, sleeping pills, drugs for dizziness for 48 hours before your test:
3. Do not drink any alcohol for 24 hours before testing.
4. Do not smoke, or drink caffeine (coffee, tea, or cola) for 2 hours before your test.
5. Do not use eye makeup on the day.
What to expect once ENT have your results.
The consultant having looked at you results will advise you on what will happen next. This may include Vestibular Rehabiliation.
Please contact the Hearing Services if you have any other queries or concerns