Risk of Falls Assessment
This is a multidimensional assessment of those factors known to be predictive of patients who are likely to sustain injurious falls in the future. Included in this test battery are tests of inner ear function.
Rotary Chair Test
For this test you will sit in a computerized swivel chair. We will record your eye movements (as we did on the first tests) as the chair swivels back-and-forth in a dark room. This test is tolerated very well and takes approximately 30 minutes to complete.
Computerized Dynamic Posturography
This is a test that tells us to what extent the senses of vision, the sense of touch in your feet, and the inner ears of balance are contributing to your dizziness and unsteadiness. For this test you will be standing without your shoes on a platform facing a surround. Your job will be to stay as steady as possible for 6 minutes.
Dynamic Visual Acuity Testing/Gaze Stabilization Testing
For this test, you will sit in front of a computer screen. You will first be asked to properly identify a target that appears on the screen while your head is still. Next, you will be asked to move your head (at a pre-determined speed) either right and left or up and down and will again try to properly identify a target that appears on the screen. This test evaluates how well you can use your inner ear balance system with your head in motion.
Objective measure of the inner ear balance system. Patients wear goggles that record eye movements to evaluate the interaction between the inner ear balance system and the muscles that control eye movements. Patients are asked to follow a red light using only their eyes. Patients are moved into different head positions (either rapidly or gently), such as lying on their back with their head to the right or left. Patients will experience warm and cool water in their ears. A small tube is placed in the opening of the ear and water will trickle in each ear (one ear at a time) for thirty seconds. A small basin will be placed by the ear to catch the water. After the water is finished going into the ear, patients will be asked to answer some simple questions (i.e. name some objects in a kitchen, name some animals that begin with the letter A, etc...). Some patients feel like they are rolling during this test; the simple questions keep their mind off of that feeling. The rolling sensations will only last for as long as patients are being tested, which is two minutes per ear.
Head Shake Posturography
For this test you will be standing without your shoes on a platform. You will be asked to move your head to the right and left at different speeds with eyes closed and stand as steady as possible. This test further evaluates your standing balance.
Vestibular Evoked Myogenic Potential (VEMP)
This is an abbreviation for a test called a Vestibular Evoked Myogenic Potential (VEMP). VEMP testing provides us with information about how a certain part of the inner ear of balance called the saccule is functioning. We will have you lie down on a table and lift your head up while you listen to a "beep". This test lasts approximately ½ hour.