Caloric Test or Testing your body balance


A caloric test is a part of the ENG used to diagnose nerve disorders of the ears. The degree and symmetry of response of the vestibular system is detected in this test. This is a test of the lateral semicircular canals and does not assess vertical canal function or otolithic function. Most caloric tests are carried out using a computerized system. It is recommended for patients with dizziness or vertigo, hearing loss associated with certain antibiotics, and certain types of anemia. The test may feel a little uncomfortable and can induce vertigo in some patients.

Various methods include: Bithermal, monothermal test, air Bithermal caloric, bilateral irrigation, balloon test and ice water caloric method. The standard procedure is the Bithermal caloric test.

Dizziness Clinic


Dizziness is a common complaint and has a very broad list of possible underlying causes. Dizziness is a nonspecific term which can mean true vertigo, light-headedness, weakness, unsteadiness, feeling faint, funny turns, visual disturbance, or a psychological problem. The balance clinic evaluates patients with complaints of any type of dizziness. The cause of the dizziness can be diagnosed in most cases on the basis of a thorough clinical history and examination and often does not require hospital referral.

Careful examination is required in order to assess a possible underlying cause. Cardiovascular: Blood pressure, aortic murmur is checked. Examination of the Eye and Nystagmus should also be done. Initial investigations may include: Urinalysis for glucose, full blood count, renal function, liver function tests, ECG. Further investigations may include EEG, CT brain scan, pure tone audiometry, vestibular function tests. Management depends on the underlying cause. Vestibular symptoms can be corrected by a general fitness programme, specific exercises to make the balance system less sensitive. Drug treatment for symptoms of vertigo and any associated nausea, vomiting, sweating or diarrhea. If medical management is not effective, surgery may be indicated. A variety of inner ear operations can be done to correct dizziness if the condition is due to a balance disorder. These include the removal of the interconnecting cavities/canals (labyrinth) that constitute the inner ear (Labyrinthectomy), cutting the balance nerve (selective vestibular neurectomy), or placing a shunt within the labyrinth (endolymphatic shunt). Psychological intervention may also be necessary in some cases. Dietary changes and reducing alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine intake may be helpful in the treatment of dizziness. Regular exercise, moving slowly and deliberately, and taking good care of general health are also important in treating this problem.

Vestibular tests consist of number of tests to check the vestibular area of the ear. They include vestibular and oculomotor function documentation, electronystagmogram (ENG) testing, smooth pursuit function testing, rotational testing, and gaze testing and caloric testing.
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