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Electronystagmography (ENG) is a test used to evaluate people with vertigo and certain other hearing and vision disorders. Vertigo is a false sense of spinning or motion that can cause dizziness.
For this test, electrodes are placed above and below the eye to record electrical activity. By measuring the changes in the electrical field within the eye, ENG can detect nystagmus in response to various stimuli. Nystagmus is an involuntary rapid eye movement. If nystagmus does not occur on stimulation, a problem may exist within the ear, nerves that supply the ear, or certain parts of the brain.
The ENG is actually a series of tests that may include one or more of the following measurements:
The ENG is used to detect disorders of the peripheral vestibular system, the parts of the inner ear that interpret balance and spatial orientation, or the nerves that connect the vestibular system to the brain and the muscles of the eye.
The test may be one if you are experiencing unexplained dizziness, vertigo, or hearing loss. These are symptoms, not a diagnosis. The ENG may help determine the exact cause of your symptoms. Possible causes include:
If a known lesion exists this test can identify the actual site. There may be other reasons for your healthcare provider to recommend an ENG.
There are very few risks with ENG. Some people may experience dizziness or nausea during the test.
ENG should not be used if you have a pacemaker because the equipment may interfere with pacemaker function.
Back or neck problems may be aggravated by rapid changes in position required for the test.
The water caloric test may produce mild discomfort. If you have been previously diagnosed with a perforated tympanic membrane, you should not undergo the water caloric portion of the ENG test.
There may be other risks depending on your specific medical condition. Be sure to discuss any concerns with your healthcare provider prior to the procedure.
Certain factors or conditions may interfere with ENG. These include:
An ENG may be done on an outpatient basis or as part of a hospital stay. Procedures may vary depending on your condition and your doctor's practices.
Generally, the ENG follows this process:
Once the test is complete, the electrodes will be removed and the electrode paste washed off. You may be instructed to avoid rubbing your eyes to avoid spreading the electrode paste.
You will be watched for any signs of weakness, dizziness, and nausea, and may need to lie down or sit for a few minutes to recover.
Your healthcare provider will inform you as to when to resume any medications you stopped taking before the test.
Your healthcare provider may give you additional or alternate instructions after the procedure, depending on your particular situation.
Before you agree to the test or the procedure make sure you know:
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