The VNG test is an advanced way of testing the vestibular system. A videonystagmography will help determine if any of your dizziness or loss in balance may be due to inner ear abnormalities.
With this new infrared testing available at The National Dizzy and Balance Center, accurate eye movements can now be measured quickly and easily. This is in contrast to traditional Electronystagmography which could only measure eye mastoid muscles with electrodes that were uncomfortable for patients.
How much does a VNG test cost?
The cost of a VNG test, without any insurance coverage, is somewhere between $120 and $310. This will usually depend on the geographical location, and the clinic you’re using. This type of test will be broken into multiple stages and will take about two hours to complete, so the costs will be heavily influenced by the hourly rates in your geographical location.
Health insurance, if you have it, would cover the procedure. However, this will depend on your individual health plan coverage and out-of-pocket expenses for deductibles each year. A PDF we found from Medicare said they do reimburse patients for basic vestibular evaluations that are conducted during a spontaneous nystagmus test or positional nystagmus testing (which is also covered by all insurances). The National Dizzy and Balance Center also says these tests will be covered in full by most insurance policies.
How to prepare for the test
Doctors recommend avoiding certain medications within the first 48 hours of a VNG test. This way, you can make sure these tests are as accurate and thorough as possible.
At least four to six hours before the test, no food or drink should be consumed with the exception of water. Alcohol consumption for at least 48 hours prior to the test is also not recommended.
According to the Audiology Hearing and Health, smoking a few hours before the test is not allowed. Also, don’t wear any eye makeup because it could compromise the results of your hearing tests.
The actual testing procedure
According to EverydayHearing.com, there are many variations of these hearing tests that depend on the clinic you choose and its protocol – but no test is considered better than another because they will each be used differently. Regardless of the protocol being used, this particular test will be split into four different parts:
Sensory organization testing – During this part of the test, you will need to stand or walk in random situations. This will be done wither with your eyes closed or open. This is going to help determine how your sensory system works together with maintaining balance. It may feel as though you are losing your balance but it won’t make you dizzy.
Ocular motor testing – The specialist will ask you to watch a light moving back and forth, or an object, with your eyes in random directions. Some people have found that this test made them feel dizzy for some time afterward. During the course of the tests, they are watching closely to see if there are any problems related to following objects which could indicate central nervous system issues as well as possible vestibular disorders connecting to your brain.
Positioning/positional testing – In positional testing, you will be asked to move your head in various directions while keeping either your eyes open or closed. This is done so that the specialist can record how your eyes perceive things when they are moving around and changing angles.
Caloric test – This is the final portion of your examination, and it’s designed to help stimulate your vestibular system. You’ll be lying on your back while either warmed or cooled water will be released inside one ear canal at a time. This helps assess if both ears are working properly.
The expected results
Dizziness and balancing issues can be very frustrating to deal with. However, by getting a proper diagnosis from this test you may finally get some much-needed relief. The results of the following examination will help determine if your inner ear is causing these symptoms or not. If it turns out that an abnormality does exist, then it could lead to a quicker recovery process for you than otherwise would have been possible.