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Frequently Asked Questions about Vestibular Testing

What is a vestibular test?

A vestibular test is done to evaluate your vestibular, or balance, system. Patients who experience dizziness, vertigo or other balance problems may have such a test.

What do I need to do before vestibular test?

There are some medications that may interfere with the test results of your vestibular evaluation, so you will receive a letter in the mail listing those you should cease taking before the test.  These are mostly medicines that are meant to help with dizziness or vertigo.  If you have any questions about what medicine you can or cannot take ahead of time, please call our clinic at 336-716-3103, option 1. In addition,

  • Please wear comfortable clothing. Pants are preferable.  It can be chilly in our testing lab, so layers are recommended.
  • Please do not wear eye makeup, as it can interfere with cameras that record your eye movements.
  • Please do not eat for a few hours before the vestibular test. If you need to take medicine with food, please eat something bland like plain toast.

What will happen the day of the vestibular test?

  • You will be asked questions about your current symptoms. Please bring a list of all your medications.
  • You may have a hearing test before or after the balance testing.
  • You will stand on a platform that will move in different ways to see how well you can keep your balance in different situations.
  • You will watch lights move so that we can see how well you can visually track a moving object.
  • You will be asked to move into different positions (rolling onto your side, laying down quickly, etc.) so we can see how your system reacts to the movement.
  • You will have warm and cool water placed in your ear canals to evaluate the response from your inner ear. 

Will the tests make me dizzy?

It varies. Some people feel dizzy or nauseous from the tests, and some do not. We try to make you as comfortable as possible. It is recommended that you have someone available to drive you home if you are dizzy or queasy when vestibular testing is complete.

What happens after the tests?

After vestibular testing, depending on your results, you may see one of our ENT/head and neck surgery physicians, or a report will be sent to your physician with the test results. Treatment and management will be determined based on the test results.

Quick Reference


Phone 336-716-3103
Fax 336-716-8161

8 am - 5 pm Mon-Fri

Adult Audiology

Hearing and Speech
2nd Floor Medical Plaza- Miller

131 Miller Street 

Winston-Salem, NC  27103 

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Last Updated: 05-16-2016
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Disclaimer: The information on this website is for general informational purposes only and SHOULD NOT be relied upon as a substitute for sound professional medical advice, evaluation or care from your physician or other qualified health care provider.

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