What is Electronystagmography Test

Many of you must have experienced dizziness as soon as you get out of bed after a long sleep. But have you experienced feeling nauseated while looking from a great height? Or experience a spinning sensation where you experience whether you are moving or nearby surroundings are spinning all by itself, which in reality is static?

If yes, you are experiencing a common condition known as vertigo which is experienced by many once in a lifetime, irrespective of age and gender.

Vertigo is not a disease but a symptom of various underlying diseases or conditions. Mild vertigo can be treated well at home with certain home remedies and vertigo exercises. If you are experiencing repeated episodes of vertigo spells, seeking medical advice is recommended.

Diagnosing vertigo is not an easy task tough, as its symptoms vary from person to person depending on the severity of the underlying cause. Vertigo can be caused due to inflammation or disorder in the inner ear or central nervous system. Repeated bouts of vertigo spells make it impossible to accomplish daily chores. An expert neurologist will help you find out what’s causing inflammation in the inner ear by determining the underlying cause.

It can be caused due to disease, virus infection or trauma, which is diagnosed by the doctor after asking you to undergo various tests. This is where the electronystagmography test commonly known as eng test for vertigo comes into play.

ENG test is suggested by doctors to the patients experiencing severe vertigo conditions to determine the underlying cause. Electronystagmography or ENG involves a series of tests for eyes and ears to diagnose the underlying cause of vertigo. In eng test for vertigo, electrodes are placed above and below your eyes. It is used to measure your reaction towards light, motion, depth perception and measure the effect of fluids in your inner ear. ENG test helps in isolating the underlying causes of vertigo.

Once you undergo the ENG test, it will help your doctor to suggest the right vertigo treatment after understanding what is triggering the condition. ENG test helps in diagnosing vertigo conditions along with balance issues and issues in the vestibular systems that are responsible for sending sensory signals from the inner ear to the brain that regulates body balance.

When a neurologist suggests undergoing eng test for vertigo?

Vertigo conditions are very common and the majority of the population is likely to experience vertigo conditions once in a lifetime. It is caused due to disorder or inflammation in the inner ear, vestibular system or head. It’s been a challenge to treat vertigo conditions. Sometimes bouts of vertigo settle itself, but if the case is severe it keeps on recurring without any warning. Meniere’s disease, BPPV, Vestibular migraines, vestibular neuritis are some of the common conditions that lead to repeated episodes of vertigo spells. Doctors suggest undergoing an electronystagmography test for diagnosing vertigo and issues in the vestibular system. ENG test is a powerful tool that helps in detecting even slight eye movements. It helps in diagnosing the physical signs of an underlying ailment. If you repeatedly experiencing vertigo symptoms including spinning sensation, dizziness, sweating, headaches, nausea, vomiting, ringing in the ear known as tinnitus then your doctor may suggest you undergoing an eng test.

What tips to follow before undergoing eng test?

Before you undergo eng test which takes approx 90 minutes, your doctor will suggest you some tips to get yourself prepared.

Here are a few tips before undergoing eng test for vertigo

  1. Tell your doctor about the medicines you take regularly and your entire medical history. He/she may suggest you not to take medicine 72 hours before undergoing the ENG test.
  2. Stop the consumption of caffeine and alcohol. It is recommended to stop drinking and avoid intake of coffee 48 hours before undergoing the eng test.
  3. Stop eating anything for at least 4 hours before the ENG test to get accurate results.
  4. Earwax or ear blockage may skew the accurate results of the eng test. Cleaning your ears is advised before the procedure starts. If your ear canals are not clean, the medical assistant will first flush ear canals before beginning the test.
  5. Book a ride for yourself. It is advised not to drive just after the completion of the ENG test.
  6. It is recommended not to undergo an electronystagmography test if you have a pacemaker for your heart.
  7. The results are not as accurate as it should be if you blink a lot. Try to remain stable.

What procedure do you undergo during an ENG test?

Now you are all set for ENG test after following certain tips given by your doctor. ENG test for vertigo involves a series of several tests which may take up to 90 minutes to complete the test. Before initiating the procedure, your doctor will clean your forehead, temples, and cheeks with alcohol to attach electrodes to those areas. Some advanced medical testing facility uses a binocular camera that looks like virtual-reality goggles instead of electrodes. Tests done by this procedure is termed as videonystagmography or VNG.

Here are some series of tests:

  1. The Calibration test

In the Calibration test, the patient is asked to use his eyes only. Your doctor will ask you to follow a light that is 10 feet away when you are undergoing a Calibration test. This test helps in diagnosing a condition when a patient faces trouble in judging distance.

  1. The tracking test

The tracking test or we can even call it the nystagmus test. An eye condition in which your eyes move without any control of it is known as nystagmus. During the tracking test, you are asked by the doctor to look at a fixed light that is set in front of you without moving your eyes. The tracking test is of two types the pendulum-tracking test and an optokinetic test. Your doctor may suggest it accordingly.

  1. The positional test

As the name suggests during the positional test your doctor asks you to move your head. He would ask you to change several head positions during the test. While you move your head, your doctor will measure the effect on your eyes which is caused due to the change in the head position.

  1. The water caloric test

In a water caloric test, your doctor will inject a stream of cool or warm water in one ear followed by another. If the patient is not having vertigo conditions then the eyes will jerk reflectively.

Once you are done with an electronystagmography test, you may feel slightly dizzy or woozy. It is advised to lie down for a few minutes for the dizziness to settle down. After diagnosing your condition through the ENG test, your doctor will advise you on the right treatments and therapies accordingly.

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