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Help and Hope for Dizziness and Balance Problems

Senior man dizzyFor patients aged 65 and above, falls are among the leading causes of death. Even when a fall isn’t fatal, it can result in broken bones or even serious brain injuries. Often, the root of these accidents is dizziness or a loss of balance. At Deborah Heart and Lung Center, the mission of our Balance Center is to diagnose and treat dizziness and balance problems to restore mobility and improve our patients’ quality of life.

Using a multidisciplinary team approach, the Balance Center physicians and clinical staff at Deborah use advanced diagnostic and screening technology to identify the source of dizziness and balance problems. Once the source of the problem has been determined, our team creates a customized treatment plan tailored to the patient’s needs and designed to support the best possible outcome.

Older woman in medical consultation with her doctor

Our advanced balance testing procedures include:

  • Ocular Motility – This test measures the function of the muscles that control eye movement. During the test, a physician holds an object 12 inches in front of the face and moves it in several directions, asking the patient to follow it only with his or her eyes, keeping the head still.
  • Nystagmography – This diagnostic test records and analyzes involuntary movements of the eye. It is performed by placing small electrodes near the eye and measuring the movements of the eye in relation to a ground electrode. In video nystagmography, infrared video systems also measure the eye movements, resulting in a more detailed observation.
  • Optokinetic Nystagmus – This procedure measures the patient’s optokinetic reflex, which allows us to follow objects in motion with the eyes only, while the head remains still. This test uses a moving light that the patient tracks with the eyes.
  • Positional Nystagmus – This test measures any involuntary movements of the eyes that occur when the patient turns his or her head to the right or left, as opposed to sitting still while facing forward or lying down.
  • Caloric Test – This test uses temperature to diagnose ear nerve damage. The test stimulates the inner ear and nearby nerves by delivering cold and warm water to the area. By measuring differences in temperature in certain parts of the inner ear, our physicians can determine if any damage exists.