Tests for vertigo are done to elicit nystagmus and to differentiate vertigo from other causes of dizziness such as hyperventilation syndrome, presyncope, disequilibrium, or psychiatric causes of lightheadedness.
To diagnose vertigo, medical history is taken from the patient, including details about the symptoms. The patient may be asked what the sensation of movement or dizziness is felt, how frequently it occurs, whether it occurs while moving in a particular way, certain times of the day, and whether hearing loss or ringing in the ears is also felt. Family history and history of the condition affecting balance, hearing or any infection, injury, or surgery in the ear or brain.
Physical examination is done to look for signs and symptoms of vertigo. Eye movements are checked or the patient is asked to track an object from one point in space to another. If the patient has trouble with this task or experiences rapid eye movements or blurred vision then the patient is referred for more tests.
Hearing tests also help to assess whether there is a problem with the nerve that connects the inner ear to the brain and whether dysfunction affects both ears.
Videonystagmography is done to evaluate the function of the inner ear using visual and sensory tests. Videonystagmography testing takes place in a testing suite within an audiologist's office. A variety of shapes, objects, and spots of light appear on the screen, and the patient is asked to perform certain tasks with eyes while keeping his head still. The infrared goggles worn by the patient records eye movements while caloric testing takes place. Followed by the audiologist analysis, the eye movement data is obtained by the goggles and also looks for patterns indicating an inner ear disorder as the cause of vertigo.
Rotational Chair Testing:
Audiologists use rotational chair testing to obtain information about whether vertigo is of peripheral or central origin. The patient is seated in a mechanized chair that slowly rotates. The patient wears special goggles that record the eye movements while the patient is in the chair.
Audiologists analyzes eye movements and interpret how they relate to the health of the inner ear.
Electrocochleography helps to determine if fluid buildup causes excess pressure in the inner ear, which can also lead to vertigo symptoms. These tests are utilized to measure the response of the inner ear to sound stimuli.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) Scans:
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) Scans helps to obtain a closer look at the inner ear and its surrounding structures. This scan uses a magnetic field and radio waves to create computerized, three-dimensional images of the ear and the nerve that carries signals from the inner ear to the brain. A magnetic resonance imaging scan may reveal a buildup of fluid or inflammation in the inner ear or a growth on the nerve.
Neurological testing uses to indicate vertigo of central origin.