The Videonystagmogram (VNG) is an evaluation of a patient’s balance system. The examination records nystagmus, or quick eye jerks, by a camera. There are neural connections that stretch from the balance mechanism in the inner ear to the muscles of the eye. An irregularity in the balance mechanism results in small eye jerks that can only be detected by a sophisticated computer. A camera attached to a pair of goggles that the patient wears records these eye jerks during a series of tasks.
The balance mechanism is monitored during tasks that consist of looking back and forth between designated points, following moving lights, lying in different positions, shaking your head, and lying down and sitting up quickly.
The final portion of the test requires putting cool and warm air in the ear canal for roughly 60 seconds in order to determine if the balance mechanism of each ear can increase and decrease normally in response to stimulation.
Because the hearing and balance functions of your inner ear are closely related, a hearing test will be administered prior to the VNG if not recently performed.