- Faculty & Staff
We maintain balance unconsciously through an orchestrated interaction from the balance part of the inner ear, input from the visual system and through feedback from our muscles and bones (kinesthetic). When a problem arises, our ability to maintain equilibrium is impaired and we typically will experience dizziness or vertigo. Vertigo is a symptom of a disorder of these systems (inner ear, visual, and kinesthetic) that may have multiple causes including but not limited to aging, head trauma, medications, or inner ear infections.
The balance assessment is performed to determine the cause of the dizziness by studying eye movement. Specifically nystagmus (which is an involuntary rapid rocking of the eye that occurs with true vertigo) is recorded. The test is comprised of three subtests - visual, positional and caloric tests.
Balance system assessment is conducted to detect pathologies within the vestibular or balance system, to determine the site of the problem, to monitor changes in balance function, or to determine the contribution of visual, vestibular, and proprioceptive systems to functional balance.