Audiologic and Vestibular Testing

What is an Audiologic Evaluation?

An audiologic evaluation is a comprehensive exam which evaluates the outer, middle and inner ear function. The evaluation typically consists of pure-tone testing, which determines the softest level a person can hear different pitches, tympanometry which assesses the integrity of the middle ear, and acoustic reflexes which measure a muscle reflex to loud sounds. Otoacoustic emissions may be done to assess cochlear function in the inner ear. All of these tests give the audiologist and physician a complete understanding as to the function of your auditory system for medical diagnostic purposes.

What is an Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR)?

An ABR is performed to further evaluate the hearing and balance nerve pathway from the ear to the brainstem. Indications for this test may include a hearing loss that is worse in one ear than the other, ringing in the ears, dizziness, pressure or fullness in the ears, sudden hearing loss or if a patient is unable to perform a traditional hearing test.

During this test, you will have small electrodes on your forehead and in your ears. You will be asked to lie down and sit quietly while clicking sounds are delivered to your ears. Some people prefer to sleep during this test. The test will take approximately 30 minutes and you should experience no pain during the testing. Please remove any makeup, sunscreen or moisturizer on your forehead before testing. Results will be discussed with your physician at a follow up appointment.

What is an Electrocochleography (ECoG)?

An ECoG is performed in the same manner as the ABR, however it evaluates the distribution of fluid in your cochlea (the inner ear hearing organ). This is a useful test to help diagnose Meniere’s Disease, or swelling in the inner ear.

What is a Vestibular Evoked Myogenic Potential (VEMP)?

A VEMP is used to evaluate a portion of the balance nerve and a specific area of the balance system. This test is indicated for patients with specific types of vertigo. During a VEMP, you will have small electrodes on your forehead and your neck. Earphones will be placed in your ears. While holding your head turned to the left and then the right, you will hear clicking sounds. The test time is approximately 30 minutes and you should experience no pain during the testing. Please remove any makeup, sunscreen or moisturizer on your head and neck before testing.

What is a Videonystagmography (VNG)?

A VNG is a series of subtests that is used to help diagnose the cause of your dizziness, vertigo or imbalance. The tests are designed to evaluate the different components of your inner ear balance system. Typically, a VNG appointment is about 1 hour. Some people report dizziness during and after testing, therefore we encourage you have someone accompany you to and from the appointment. Click here to download our Dizziness Questionnaire.

It is important to refrain from taking certain medications for 48 hours prior to your test date. Some medications can influence the body’s response to the test and give a false result. There is a short list of medications below, however always consult with your physician first before discontinuing any prescribed medications.

  • Analgesics–Narcotics: Codeine, Demerol, Phenaphen, Tylenol with Codeine, Percocet, Darvocet
  • Anti-histamines: Chlor-trimeton, Dimetapp, Disophrol, Benadryl, Actifed, Teldrin, Triaminic, Hismanol, Claritin, or any other over the counter cold medicines.
  • Anti-seizure medicine: Dilantin, Tegretol, Phenobarbital
  • Anti-vertigo medicine: Antivert, Ruvert, Meclizine
  • Anti-nausea medicine: Atarax, Bonine, Bucladin, Compazine, Dramamine, Phenergan, Scopalomine, Thorazine, Transderma
  • Sedatives: Dalmane, Halcion, Nembutal, Restoril, Seconal or any sleeping pill
  • Tranquilizers: Atarax, Ativan, Librium, Librax, Serax, Tranxene, Valium, Vistaril, Xanex

You may take blood pressure medications, heart medications, thyroid medications, Tylenol, insulin, estrogen, etc.

  • Please DO NOT wear eye makeup or mascara
  • Please eat lightly for 12 hours prior to your appointment and avoid caffeine in beverages such as coffee or soft drinks
  • Please DO NOT smoke 12 hours prior to your appointment
  • NO alcoholic beverages within 48 hours of the test