Call us: (801) 833-0579

4 Utah Locations: View Locations

Schedule an Appointment: Schedule Online

What to Expect During a Videonystagmography (VNG) Test

What to Expect During a Videonystagmography (VNG) Test

Utah Hearing & Balance audiologists and doctors use Videonystagmography (VNG) technologies to test inner ear and central motor functions. We perform VNG tests to help determine the causes of your dizziness or balance problems.

This overview will help you understand what a VNG test reveals and what you can expect during a VNG test.

Why Choose a VNG Test

VNG testing is accurate, consistent and comfortable for dizziness patients. In fact, VNG testing is now considered the standard for testing inner-ear function because VNG measures the movements of the eyes directly through infrared cameras instead of measuring the mastoid muscles around the eyes with electrodes like previous ENG tests.

What the VNG Test Reveals

Our goal in administering the VNG test is to determine if inner-ear disease is causing a balance or dizziness problem. It’s one of few tests that can identify and recognize the differences between vestibular loss in one or both ears. This test also addresses the functionality of each ear and if a vestibular deficit may be the cause of a dizziness or balance problem.

How VNG Testing Works

VNG tests document a person’s ability to follow visual objects with their eyes and how well the eyes respond to information from the vestibular system. To monitor the movements of the eyes, infrared goggles are placed around the eyes to record eye movements. VNG testing is non-invasive, and only minor discomfort is felt by the patients during testing as a result of wearing goggles.

Parts of a VNG Test

There are 4 main parts to a VNG test:

  1. Occular Mobility – You will be asked to use your eyes to follow objects that jump from place to place, stand still, or move smoothly. The technician will be looking for any slowness or inaccuracies in your ability to follow visual targets. This may indicate a central or neurological problem, or possibly a problem in the pathway connecting the vestibular system to the brain.
  2. Optokinetic Nystagmus – You will be asked to view a large, continuously moving visual image to see if your eyes can appropriately track these movements. The technician will be looking for any slowness or inaccuracies in your ability to follow visual targets. This may indicate a central or neurological problem, or possibly a problem in the pathway connecting the vestibular system to the brain.
  3. Positional Nystagmus – The technician will move your head and body into various positions to make sure that there are no inappropriate eye movements (nystagmus), when your head is in different positions. This test is looking at your inner-ear system and the condition of the endolymph fluid in your semi-circular canals. The technician is verifying that small calcium carbonate particles called otoconia are not suspended in the fluid and causing a disturbance to the flow of the fluid.
  4. Caloric Testing – The technician will stimulate both of your inner ears (one at a time) with warm and then cold air. They will be monitoring the movements of your eyes using goggles to make sure that both of your ears can sense this stimulation. This test will confirm that the vestibular system for each ear is working and responding to stimulation. This is the only test available that can decipher between unilateral and bilateral loss.

Contact Us to Learn More

A VNG test typically lasts about 1.5 hours and testing is covered by most insurance plans. Call us at 801-833-0579 to set up an appointment with a Salt Lake City dizziness doctor or schedule an appointment online today.