Vestibular (Balance) Laboratory
The Vestibular Laboratory is a specialized facility designed to test your balance system. Several different types of tests may be performed, depending on the type of problem you have.
Ocular motor screening
In ocular motor screening, the center’s staff uses visual stimuli and computer analysis to evaluate your eye movement control system.
In caloric testing, a very small balloon is placed in your outer ear and gently filled with warm or cool water to stimulate the balance mechanism of the inner ear. Your responses are evaluated by recording eye movements, thus helping to determine the degree of vestibular (inner ear) responsiveness in each ear.
In positional testing, you are placed in various body positions while your eye movements are recorded. Responses may point to vestibular abnormalities.
In rotational testing, you will sit in a gently rotating chair while your eye movements are recorded by a computer. Because rotation is a natural physiological stimulus to the inner ear, the results can provide an indication of how the central nervous system processes vestibular information. In visual-vestibular interaction assessment, a test related to rotational testing, you are presented with a combination of visual and vestibular stimuli to provide information on how the brain processes visual and vestibular information.
In posturography testing, you will stand on a computer-controlled platform that can move while you look at a visual scene that also can move. Your responses can indicate how well the inner ear is working.
Vestibular Evoked Myogenic Potentials (VEMPs)
Vestibular evoked myogenic potentials (VEMPs) test a special portion of the inner ear called the saccule. The saccule senses up and down and forward and backward movement, and also whether or not you are upright. The VEMPs test is performed by having you listen to loud clicks in your ears while the electrical activity in your neck muscles is recorded with small wires. No electrical shocks are used.