Balance Center Services
Balance problems can stem from a variety of conditions including disease or physical abnormalities. Our Center provides several types of diagnostic testing as well as therapy services to identify and treat many of these conditions.
The human balance system integrates information from your eyes, your feet, and your inner ear vestibular organs to help keep you balanced. If you are experiencing difficulty with your balance, your symptoms may be a result of a problem in one or more of these areas. To help determine what parts of the balance system may be contributing to your symptoms you may undergo a series of comprehensive balance tests. Balance testing is a painless, non-invasive diagnostic protocol during which your balance systems will be stimulated and responses from those systems will be recorded. Ultimately, these tests will help the physician to accurately diagnose your balance problem and formulate an appropriate plan for treatment.
Testing takes approximately two to three hours and is performed by a licensed audiologist. Most patients tolerate balance/inner ear testing quite well, however it is normal to experience an increased feeling of unsteadiness, dizziness, turning sensation, or nausea. Typically you will undergo one or more of the following tests:
- Computerized Dynamic Posturography (CDP): This is a non-invasive test during which the patient will stand on a platform that measures how well an individual can maintain their balance. The platform and walls move back and forth slightly at times during 6 different conditions that make up the test. The audiologist will explain what will happen before each set of movements. The patient wears a safety harness for protection from falling. The test is measuring coordinated integration of the eye (vision), inner ear (vestibular) and muscles and joints (somatosensory). CDP is also used during Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy.
- Rotary Chair: This test is performed while the patient is wearing video goggles so that eye movements may be recorded. These movements are driven by the inner ear balance organs when the head is moving from side to side. The patient sits in the dark for a short period of time, talking to the audiologist, while the chair slowly swivels from side to side at different speeds.
- Videonystagmography: The patient wears video goggles to provide quantitative recordings of eye movements during this test. First, the patient is asked to follow moving lights. Second, the patient will be asked to move into several different body positions while on an exam table. During the last part of the test, a mild stream of warm and cool air is delivered to the ear canal for a brief time while the patient is lying down. All patients experience this test differently, however it is normal to feel a sense of movement for a minute or two with this stimulation.
- Rotational Vestibular Testing (RVT)
Our Center has one of the only RVT systems in New York, a system which greatly increases our ability to detect subtle vestibular abnormalities not identified by other test modalities.
- Vestibular and Balance Therapy
In Vestibular and Balance Rehabilitation, patients work one-on-one with a balance therapist in an exercise program designed specifically for each patient to lessen the severity of dizziness, vertigo and balance problems and to decrease the risk of fall or injury.
Some or all of our services may be beneficial in diagnosing and improving or resolving your specific symptoms. In most cases, your referring physician will recommend initial testing and our center will provide feedback to your doctor regarding the next best steps for evaluation or treatment.