You have been experiencing dizziness, vertigo, and balance problems for some time. And your physician referred you for a vestibular assessment. But you’ve heard enough scary stories to put you off of it. Believe me, we know how concerned you might be feeling right now.
So is it okay if you are feeling worse after VNG test?
Yes, it is completely normal to feel a bit under the weather just when you are done with your Videonystagmography test. But this feeling goes away within a very short period of time. So there is nothing to be anxious about.
You must be dying to know about all the ins and outs of this test by now? Hop on this ride to quench your thirst, for we have gathered everything you need to know.
Table of Content
What Is a VNG Test?
VNG stands for Videonystagmography and is a form of vestibular assessment. It is done to evaluate the possible cause of your dizziness and problems with balance and equilibrium.
VNG is a valuable diagnostic procedure. Generally, a session of a VNG test takes 60 to 90 minutes. And it is a very essential step to identify the causes behind your symptoms and plan a treatment course.
Many of you might be planning to go to your first audiologist appointment. So let’s briefly go through what actually happens during the test, shall we?
The Essentials of VNG Test
Your audiologist will give you a pair of goggles to wear during most of your VNG. These infrared goggles will track your eye movements. And a part of the test will be conducted in the dark with your goggles capped shut.
The Parts of VNG Test
VNG consists of 3 basic parts. These different parts help to estimate different activities of your vestibular system (the system that maintains your equilibrium and balance).
- Ocular Motor Evaluation
This is the first part of the test. Your audiologist will ask you to follow a red light moving vertically and horizontally at different speeds.
It is done to assess the action of eye muscles and coordination with the central nervous system.
- Positional Evaluation
This part evaluates the central nervous system and the balance system of your inner ear.
Your audiologist will ask you to lie down, sit up, and turn your head rapidly. Basically, it takes notes on your ability to change positions successfully at a fast pace.
- Caloric Evaluation
This part solely focuses on the function of the balance organs of your inner ear. You will lie on your back comfortably.
Then warm and cool air will be introduced to each of your ear canals successively for 2 minutes at a time. The rest period between each portion will be approximately 3 minutes.
And that covers all the basics of the VNG test, folks! So let’s address the elephant in the room now – what to expect during the test.
Is It Okay to Feeling Worse After VNG Test?
Frankly speaking, yes. You are likely to have a short dizzy spell just after taking the test, or even during it. Or your ears might start ringing after laying down. But it should go away in most cases within 5 to 10 minutes.
But for a number of people, this period lasts a bit longer than anticipated. This is nothing to worry about as the recovery period differs for different persons.
So do rest assured that it is totally okay if you feel a bit worse just after taking the test. Happens to everyone, yeah?
Why Exactly Do I Feel Discomfort After the Test
As we have mentioned earlier, the test needs you to move your eyes and body parts at varying speeds. Sometimes you have to even change positions rapidly.
Your brain finds it hard to keep up with such a harrowing pace. So all these leads to a temporary period of dizziness that gets resolved right away.
Very often people complain about having a ‘swimmy’ or ‘flowy’ feeling during the caloric test. Do not fret too much about it. It is a completely normal phenomenon for people taking the test.
Ways to Tackle Your Unease
Now VNG is not like your regular routine health checkups. This is an important diagnostic test to find out why you are having problems with balance or equilibrium. So you need to take care of certain things that might normally skip your mind.
And it is advised that you follow them so that you do not feel worse after the test. They might just be the game-changer that you needed ardently, who knows?
For your better understanding, we have listed them in four main parts. Before, on the day, during, and after your test. Do take a look to double-check if you had forgotten any of these!
Before The Appointment
We all get pretty nervous before big events, right? And we do not want to forget about the key points either. So what could help is making a list.
We, once again, have come to your rescue and made a list of things you need to do before the appointment. Check it out!
Ask About Your Medication
Now, this is very important. Let’s say you are someone who takes meds regularly for some other related or unrelated health problems.
You need to contact your health service provider or the facility from where you are doing the test. Get a list of which of your medicines are advised to be avoided before the test.
Some of these medications you are taking might interfere with the test results. So they should be stopped 24-48 hours prior to the test.
We do not want to go through the same procedure again just for overlooking this teensy detail now, do we? If you have any concerns about stopping the meds, please consult with your physician.
It is best if you can bring a complete list of the medicines you take to your appointment. Include all the vitamins and supplements too. You never know which of them might cause trouble for the VNG test!
Gather Details About Your Symptoms
You got referred for a VNG test because of the symptoms you are facing, right? Keep a track of your discomforts.
You might not feel the same symptom all the time. And it might be a different one during a different time of the day.
So keep a diary of your symptoms if possible. Note down what makes them worse. Certain positions, activities, or situations might aggravate your condition.
Like lying down, sitting still, changing lighting could make your dizziness or lightheadedness more unbearable.
Also do not forget to list down how long your symptoms last and how often you have them. This could really help you and your physician to find out the trigger points of your problem.
Gather Previous Test Results and Reports
This one is quite self-explanatory. If you have any other tests or checkups done, bring them with you. Those will help your physician to assess your condition more effectively.
Find a Companion
Call a friend or family member the night before your appointment.
Ask them to accompany you to your audiologist’s visit. Not only would they help you feel more at ease but also could drive you home if you are still feeling dizzy after the test.
We are not saying you are bound to feel worse or anything. But it is quite nice to know you have someone to rely on when you are tired from the tests. Or just not feeling like driving at all.
Get a Good Night’s Sleep
We advise you not to worry too much about the test. The VNG needs you to be fully functional and mentally aware. So go to bed a bit earlier than the night before.
Try drinking a warm cup of milk. It would help you with the calming down part nicely.
On The Day of The Appointment
Try to get up early and reach the facility center sometime before you are due. Get acquainted with the surroundings and environment there. It will help to calm your nerves.
You might be thinking now that it covers everything you gotta do. But there are some other things that need to be addressed that day, so read along!
Wear Comfy Clothes
Try to wear loose-fitting, comfortable clothes and shoes. Sneakers or tennis shoes would be the best.
And since you will be changing positions several times, you should wear comfortable pants rather than slacks or dresses.
Cut Off Using Makeup
Yes, you read that right. Do not use makeup on the day of your appointment. A proper diagnosis depends on the goggles’ ability to track your eye movements correctly.
Your eye makeup might interfere with the process so it is best not to wear any.
Avoid Eating Prior to The Test
It is recommended that you stop eating four hours prior to the test. Why? Because some of you might feel queasy during the test after eating lots.
Although most of the patients do not feel anything, we should rule out the possibility of that occurrence, right?
Eat light and easily digestible food on the day of your appointment. Try to avoid rich and oily food. They could just tick off your symptoms more.
Avoid Nerve Stimulants
You need to ease your nervous system before going for the Videonystagmography test. So avoid taking alcohol, caffeine, or weed the day before.
If you are habituated with drinking coffee in the morning, then you can have a cuppa coffee. But anything heavier than that (like energy drinks) would not do you any good.
Try Some De-stressing Techniques
You can try some stress reduction techniques to ease your anxiety. Non-sleep deep relaxation, square breathing, meditation, or Yoga Nidra might help you with that.
You gotta remember this appointment is the key step to help you feel better overall. So having a calm nerve would help you achieve the best results.
During The Appointment
Say you have now reached the facility for the test and you are due next. Discuss your symptoms and how you feel about the testing done so far with your doctor.
Give a proper medical history and do not leave out any details.
Share how your problems first started and what you did after that. There is a popular saying that goes around the doctor community – a complete detailed case history does half the job of identifying the problem.
So please do not hesitate. It is your health provider’s job to help you go through your problems and sort them out with you.
After The Appointment
Well, first of all, take a deep breath in, and let it all out. You are successfully done with the almost two-hour-long diagnosis. You definitely deserve a pat on the back for that!
You might be feeling lightheaded, giddy, unsteady, shaky, or weak right after the test. So find a comfortable place to sit and rest for a bit.
This dizzy spell will last for different durations for different persons. So if you have heard someone else recovered after a full day, do not panic. It might take only 10 minutes for you!
Be sure to follow any after appointment instructions given by your physician or the audiologist.
Your next steps will depend on the results of your test. Whether you actually have some vestibular problems or not would determine how your treatment plan will go.
In Case of a Positive Vestibular Test
If you are diagnosed with any vestibular disorders like Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV), Labyrinthitis, tinnitus, Meniere’s disease, you will receive symptomatic treatment. And more vestibular tests will be done if needed.
In that case, your treatment options will depend on what exactly you are diagnosed with.
Your treatment may include physical therapy, dietary changes, lifestyle modification, and/or medications. You will be rarely prescribed surgery options for vestibular diseases.
In Case of a Negative Vestibular Test
If you are not diagnosed with any vestibular disorders, you may be scheduled for further assessment. Or you may be referred to other specialty experts (eg. neurology, cardiology) for your dizziness and vertigo symptoms.
A very wide range of medical conditions can cause vertigo and dizziness. So if your health care provider suspects it is not related to the vestibular system, you will have to go through other possibilities.
The silver lining here is that the VNG test will help you to point in the right direction even if you do not have any vestibular diseases.
What it would do is narrow down the possible cause of your dizziness and vertigo and guide you to the proper diagnosis.
What does an abnormal VNG test mean?
The VNG test is performed to test voluntary movements of the eyes. An abnormal result can often indicate an unusual cortex, brain stem, cerebellum, cranial nerves, or individual eye muscles. It can further mean some abnormality in the vestibular system.
What can a VNG diagnose?
VNG test is used to determine if a vestibular (inner ear) disease may be causing dizziness, room spinning sensation, or a balance problem. It is one of the only tests available to date that can differentiate between unilateral (one ear) and bilateral (both ears) vestibular loss.
Can inner ear problems cause nystagmus?
Inner ear disorders like Labyrinthitis or Meniere’s disease are known to lead to acquired nystagmus. However, the most common cause is probably toxic – certain drugs and medications. That includes Dilantin (an anti-seizure medication), alcohol intoxication, or any sedating medicines that can harm the labyrinth.
Videonystagmography is a time-consuming and acute activity-based diagnosis process. So it is completely normal if you are feeling worse after the VNG test. And this dizzy feeling goes away within minutes for the majority of people.
So there is nothing to worry about too much. But it is wise to be aware and look out for them.
Hope this discussion was able to answer all your queries about the VNG test and what you should expect of it.
Wear a mask while going out, stay hydrated and take care of yourself until the next time we see you!