Dizzy, off-balance, lightheaded, spinning, floating, drifting, tilting, falling, equilibrium is off” these are all common descriptive ways to express that something is not “communicating” well with your balance system. Dizziness can be caused by anything from de-hydration to a serious nervous system problem, such as Multiple sclerosis or a stroke.
Balance testing can determine if there is a problem with the function of the inner ear balance system or if there is a delay or disconnect in the signal of the nerves of the eyes or balance nervous system. It can determine whether physical therapy is needed to help with strengthening the balance system or muscles to help prevent falls. It tells a family doctor which system is not functioning, although not always the cause of the dysfunction, and also if there is nothing wrong with the balance system, which then rules out that option.
There are different types of “dizziness” depending on the cause of the balance. A balance assessment can identify where the problem is originating from, which give the patient’s family physician more accurate information on treatment plans for fast recovery.
A VNG or videonystagmography test also is a non-invasive test, less time consuming and less expensive than other tests, such as an MRI. Many patient’s can’t complete MRI’s due to pace-makers or other implants that are not compatible with an MRI. Testing typically only takes an hour and a half at most and there are very few limitations to who can complete the testing.
Thank you to Dr. Welman for taking a moment and sharing with us her thoughts on balance and dizziness as well as the balance assessment she conducts at our practice. Our practice, Family Hearing and Balance Center, is please to provide these services for those with balance concerns.