Posts Tagged ‘evaluate balance’

Testing and Evaluating Your Dizziness

Every therapist who tests people for balance disorders and dizziness will use similar tests. Here are four examples of the tests that are used, which may include additional explanation if there’s an abundance of scientific terms. Explanations/definitions are in italics and I have edited the copy for better reading comprehension.

Oculomotor examination

Assess for an internuclear ophthalmoplegia [eye weakness] and gaze-dependent nystagmus [involuntary movement in the eye that indicates neurological abnormality]. Nystagmus of peripheral [inner ear] origin typically is unidirectional. Nystagmus of brainstem or cerebellar (ie. central) origin may be bidirectional and have more than one direction. Pure vertical nystagmus almost always is a sign of brainstem disease and not a labyrinthine [inner ear] disorder.

Station (Romberg)

The…Romberg test is having the patient stand heel to toe with 1 foot in front of the other; this test is required to detect abnormalities in younger patients.

Fukuda test (stepping test of Unterberger)

The patient is asked to step in place for 20-30 seconds. Rotation of the patient may indicate a unilateral loss of vestibular tone.

Dix-Hallpike maneuver

The Dix-Hallpike maneuver is one of the most important tests for patients who experience true vertigo. This test involves having the patient lie back suddenly with the head turned to one side. The test results are considered abnormal if the patient reports vertigo and exhibits a characteristic torsional (ie. rotary) nystagmus that starts a few seconds after the patient lies back (latency), lasts 40-60 seconds, reverses when the patient sits up, and fatigues with repetition.

For more information and more tests:

http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/856440-overview