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Otoneurological tests to diagnose vertigo

The otoneurological assessment is for patients who suffer from rotary vertigo, loss of balance or light-headedness. Both functions of the inner ear should be explored: the auditory function and the vestibular function. Indeed, in addition to its role in the perception of sounds, the inner ear is essential in balancing and steadying our gaze when we move our head.
A complete assessment can only be performed by a qualified otoneurologist using sophisticated apparatus. The test identifies the source of dizziness or unsteadiness to select the most appropriate treatment with a view to finding a permanent cure for the patient.

Dizziness: patients’ most common complaints

The sensation of dizziness is specific to the person and type of condition. The most common sensations expressed by patients suffering from dizziness and balance disorders are:


  • “Rotary vertigo: the room spins, I feel nauseous and am sick.”


  • “I feel constantly unsteady.”


  • “Feeling lightheaded “but not euphoric” despite the fact that I never drink.”


  • “When I lean forward, I feel like everything is spinning and I have to hold onto something.”


  • “If I lean my head back I feel like I'm going to faint.”


  • “I feel constantly unsteady when I walk.”


  • “Suddenly I felt pressure and ringing in my ear and I became dizzy.”


  • “When I walk it feels like I’m sinking into the ground.”


  • “When I turn my head too fast, my vision blurs.”


  • “I suddenly had stomach pain and nausea, I got up and I was sick; the room was spinning. I thought I had a stomach bug.”


  • “It's like I am constantly seasick.”


  • “It’s like being shoved sideways and I lose my balance.”


  • “I stagger when I walk.”

> Also listen to interviews with patients suffering from dizziness

For more information, see:

> Audiometric tests to diagnose vertigo

> Vestibular tests including videonystagmography to detect vertigo