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Balance Testing

A recent survey estimates that 35% of Americans aged 40 years and older have balance dysfunction. The symptoms of dizziness increase with age and the National Institutes of Health states that 70% of Americans will have dizziness at some point during their lifetime. Good balance requires input from the inner ear, eyes, and tactile sensation (typically from your feet) to the brain; when one part of the system is not working well, dizziness can occur. Diagnosis and treatment for dizziness (and vertigo) have advanced over the last decade.
Designer Audiology offers diagnostic balance testing for patients aged 18-79 years.

Diagnostic Vestibular (Balance) Testing

  • Comprehensive case history
  • Hearing test
  • Gans Sensory Organization Performance (SOP) Test: using a hard, flat and calibrated, soft foam platform, a person’s functional balance system will be tested to determine which part of the three balance systems are relied upon most.
  • Positional Nystagmus (rapid eye movement) Test: recordings of the eye movement will be taken in different positions, with and without visual cues to establish the health of the inner ear. Positional testing includes the Dix-Hallpike test for Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV).
  • Spontaneous Nystagmus Test: recordings of the eye movement will be completed with and without goggles.

Preparing for Testing

  • Eating: The day of your appointment, please eat lightly. Try to avoid heavy or fried foods or consuming a significant amount of dairy products.
  • Make-up: Avoid wearing eye make-up to ensure the recording goggles obtain accurate information.
  • Medications: On the day of your appointment, please do not take any anti-vertigo medications (e.g. Meclizine), strong sleeping pills, and/or pain pills that cause drowsiness. If you have any questions about your medications, please contact the office at (301) 854-1410 prior to stopping any prescribed medications.

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