Audiologists specialize in the whole system of the ear.
This includes the hearing system “and” the vestibular system. The vestibular system is in charge of maintaining a person’s balance or “equilibrium”. Vestibular testing is a battery of tests that assess the “balance center” part of the inner ear and brain. The test can be helpful in diagnosing the causes of dizziness and off balance symptoms. “VNG” is short for Videonystagmography, which involves goggles with a video camera that measures a person’s eye movements, and the Audiologist watches for any abnormalities. The results of a VNG can reveal if the dizziness is because of a problem in the inner ear, or a problem in the brain’s central nervous system. It also may help the family physician determine if a person needs physical therapy to help treat the dizziness or consult with a Neurologist to determine what treatment is needed. Many people live with dizziness and think it is normal or just age related. It is common to have poorer balance as we age, but it is not normal to have dizziness or a constant feeling of imbalance. Medications sometimes have side effects of dizziness, but all symptoms should be reported to a physician to determine if further testing is needed.
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