Dix-Hallpike test (also called Nylen-Barany test)
vertigo is triggered by certain head movements. Your
doctor will carefully observe any involuntary eye movements
(nystagmus) that may occur during this test to
determine if the cause of your vertigo is central or peripheral. Central
vertigo is caused by a problem inside the brain, and peripheral vertigo is
caused by a problem with the inner ear or the nerve leaving the inner ear. The
Dix-Hallpike test also can help determine which ear is likely affected. During
The Dix-Hallpike test locates the
cause of vertigo as either the inner ear or the brain. If the problem is in the
ear, this test can determine which ear is affected.
A normal test result means that you did not
have vertigo or nystagmus during the test.
An abnormal test
result means that you had vertigo or nystagmus during the test. It is likely
that the vertigo is caused by an inner ear or brain problem, depending on the
way you reacted to the test.
The test can be uncomfortable
because of the vertigo and nausea that may result.
The test is
inexpensive, easy to do, and is commonly done as part of the physical exam when
you visit your doctor with complaints of dizziness or vertigo.
Complete the medical test information form (PDF)(What is a PDF document?) to help you prepare for this test.
December 19, 2012
Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
& E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
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