Jefferson University Hospitals

Preparing for Your Visit

New patients should arrive 15 minutes prior to the scheduled appointment time. Please remember to bring your insurance identification card and referral, if needed.   

For your appointment

Medications listed below will negatively affect your test results. Stop taking the following medications/products 48 hours before your scheduled appointment:

  • Dizziness medications (including but not limited to Meclizine, Valium, Scopolamine)
  • Sedatives (sleeping medications)
  • Muscle relaxers
  • Tranquilizers
  • Antihistamines (including allergy medications)
  • Antidepressants (including but not limited to Prozac, Lexapro, Paxil, Celexa)
  • Anti-anxiety medications (including but not limited to Klonopin, Restoril, Valium, Xanax)
  • Certain prescription pain medications
  • Tobacco products
  • Caffeine (Coffee, Tea, Chocolate)
  • Alcohol (Beer, Wine, Liquor)
  • Energy drinks

Office Locations

Department of Otolaryngology
Balance & Hearing Center
925 Chestnut Street, 6th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19107
215-955-6760

Jefferson at Cherry Hill
2211 Chapel Avenue West, Suite 403
Cherry Hill, NJ 08002
856-922-5030

Balance Function Testing – What to Expect

Our balance system is comprised of three parts: 1) inner ear/vestibular system, 2) visual inputs, and 3) somatosensory input/sensation from the feet and ankles. Vestibular/balance function testing will help us evaluate whether it is your inner ear that is contributing to your dizziness/balance difficulties.

Videonystagmography (VNG)

  • Video goggles will be placed on your head to track your eye movements
  • Throughout testing, you will need to keep your eyes OPEN and try to keep from blinking
  • Sometimes you will be asked random questions—the purpose is to distract your brain from overriding your eye movements
  1. You will be asked to complete several tasks while looking at a TV screen which will allow the audiologist to evaluate the connection between your eyes and your inner ears
    1. following a light as it moves smoothly from side to side
    2. keeping track of a jumping light
    3. looking at bright stripes or squares moving side to side
  2. You will be instructed to move into certain positions to check whether that causes dizziness
    1. lying on your back with your head hanging off the table
    2. turning your head while lying down
    3. rolling over while lying down
  3. Lastly, we will be irrigating your ears with warm and cool water or air to test the function of a specific part of your inner ear responsible for side-to-side motion
    1. this is considered the gold standard of testing and it is especially important that we obtain results from both ears
    2. you may feel like you are spinning or turning and that is EXPECTED; just know that the feeling is NORMAL and will pass

Cervical/Ocular Vestibular Evoked Myogenic Potentials (cVEMP/oVEMP)

  • Evaluates the part of your inner ear responsible for up-and-down and/or side-to-side motion
  • The sides of your neck, top of your chest, forehead, under-eye area, and nose will be scrubbed and electrode stickers will be attached
  • A loud (but safe) thumping noise will be played in each ear
  • You will lift your head off the pillow and turn it to the side for ~20 seconds (cVEMP)
  • You will look toward the ceiling with your eyes for ~30 seconds (oVEMP)

Electrocochleography (EchoG)

  • Indirectly measures the endolymphatic (fluid) pressure of the inner ear
  • Your forehead and ear canals will be scrubbed for electrode sticker/insert placement
  • You will be resting with your head on a pillow—you may fall asleep
  • You will hear clicking sounds

Rotary Chair (RVT)

  • Evaluates the part of your inner ear that is responsible for side-to-side motion
  • Results of this test will inform the audiologist whether or not there is a weakness in the balance system of one or both of your ears
  • You will be seated and secured in a chair that rotates slowly in different directions while wearing video goggles to track your eye movements

Video Head Impulse Test (vHIT)

  • Evaluates for possible reduction in vestibular function between ears

  • Emerging test capable of evaluating all six semi-circular canals and is thus the most comprehensive evaluation of the vestibular system

  • You will be seated and wearing video goggles to track your eye movements while the audiologist will move your head in different directions

If you have a question about any of these tests or procedures please call our office at
215-955-6760 and ask to speak with an audiologist.