Balance Testing & Hearing Evaluation

hearing and balance testing

Millions of people have disorders of balance when it comes to their hearing—patients sometimes describe this as a feeling of dizziness.

However, there are many other symptoms that accompany balance disorders.

When someone suffers from a balance disorder, they commonly feel any of the following symptoms:

  • unsteady
  • woozy
  • giddy
  • experience a feeling of movement, floating, or spinning
  • vertigo
  • lightheadedness
  • visual blurring
  • disorientation

This is not a comfortable thing to experience, but our ENT physicians at Northeast Atlanta Ear, Nose, & Throat can help.

What Does it Mean to Have a Balance Disorder?

The ear is made up of different parts. The labyrinth, an organ in the inner ear, plays a very important part of your balance (vestibular) system. This particular organ communicates with other bodily systems (eyes and skeletal) in order to keep your body’s position and balance.

In addition to the symptoms listed above, people with a balance disorder might also experience:

    • vomiting
    • nausea
    • faintness
    • fear
    • anxiety
    • panic
    • changes or increases in blood pressure
    • changes or increases in heart rate
    • fatigue
    • decreased concentration
    • depression

A person might experience any of these symptoms for either a short amount of time or a longer period of time. If you experience these balance symptoms, please call either of our ENT offices to schedule an appointment for testing.

Balance Testing from Our ENT Doctors

ENT doctor checking patient at Northeast Atlanta ENTIf we determine the need for balance testing, an ENG (electronystagmography), may be ordered by one of our ENT physicians to evaluate your inner ear function. This will help us further assess dizziness or vertigo.

What happens during an ENG test?

Sticker electrodes will be placed around your eyes and your eye movements will be recorded in a series of conditions. You will be either seated or lying down on a table during different parts of the test.

You may experience dizziness or sensation of movement during the testing. The dizziness usually subsides after the testing is complete, but we recommend that you have someone drive you to and from the appointment.

The testing will take approximately 1-1½ hours. A list of pretest instructions will be given to you at the time of scheduling to help you prepare for the evaluation. With your permission, escorts are permitted to view the test.

Reasons and Benefits for Balance Testing & Treatment

There are various treatments for balance disorders. Individual treatment will vary depending on the patient’s symptoms, medical history, and underlying causes. We may recommend balance retraining exercises, treatment for the underlying cause, or dietary changes.

There are several reasons why you would need balance testing. With a balance test, our ENT physicians and audiologists can:

          • identify causes of vertigo
          • identify causes of tinnitus
          • evaluate the vestibular system
          • identify causes of dizziness

In addition to balance testing, we might also conduct a hearing test to evaluate the middle and inner ear.

Once your testing is complete, one of our physicians or audiologists will review the test results, in combination with your symptoms. We will recommend certain types of treatment based on this information.

If you experience symptoms related to a balance disorder, it’s always best to get evaluated and treated as soon as possible before symptoms get worse.

Please call either of our offices in Johns Creek (770-623-1608) or Lawrenceville, GA (770-237-3000) to schedule your appointment.