If you’ve been experiencing issues with vestibular function, motion, balance, dizziness and potential inner ear disorder, your best diagnostic resource may be something called videonystagmography. That’s a mouthful, we must admit. We’ve created this page to break it all down for you, showing you how this test is helpful for assessing and diagnosing a variety of disorders of the vestibular system.

The vestibular system is what monitors and regulates our body’s centre of balance. Working in concert with the ears, eyes, brain and sense of touch, this communication process – when functioning properly – keeps us moving about with good vision & coordination without dizziness or balance issues. However, the vestibular system (which incorporates nerves, organs and body structures) can suffer degradation or even breakdown. Read on to discover how this happens and how we can restore a sense of normalcy.

diagram of inner ear disorder


doctor making checklist steps


Vestibular disorders are not uncommon. The vestibular system and visual system are connected via a series of muscles and nerves in the eyes and neck. Head movement can cause these systems to become out of whack, as it were, resulting in symptoms such as:

  • Vertigo
  • Dizziness
  • Balance issues
  • Hearing changes
  • Blurred vision or reduced eyesight
  • Psychological and/or cognitive issues

Once a combination of these symptoms are reported, we can begin the diagnostic and assessment process to determine what is causing these, and, ultimately, whether you have a vestibular disorder and, if so, which type of vestibular disorder it is. This is, essentially, the process down the road to recovery – once we know what we’re dealing with, it’s much less complex and daunting to come up with solutions for success in work, school, sports and life as a whole.


Videonystagmography (VNG) is a battery of tests using small electrodes placed over the skin near the eyes (which on its own is known as electronystagmography) – plus the addition of goggles with video cameras to monitor the eyes. These enable videonystagmography to measure eye movements as we place the head in different positions. The videonystagmography test also has your eyes following different moving visual targets. Another component of videonystagmography is a caloric test, which puts the ear canal through temperature changes to stimulate the vestibular system.

While it’s true that, for a short period of time, the videonystagmography testing can make the patient feel dizzy, the sensation is short lived and is carried out in a highly controlled, proven methodology for the long-term improvement of the vestibular system. To find out more about videonystagmography and book an appointment for videonystagmography in Ottawa, contact the Broadview Spine & Health Centre today.

doctor meeting with patient

The 3 Components of Videonystagmography at Broadview


In this stage of the test your eyes will be following a moving object. We will be looking for inaccuracies in your ability to visually track the moving object – and/or visual slowness – which could detect neurological and/or vestibular pathway issues.


In a positional nystagmus test, the patient’s head & body are moved into various positions; this is how we monitor and assess the inner ear system. Optokinetic nystagmus track movements while the eyes follow a moving image; this tests for vestibular & neurological issues.


This testing stage puts the inner ear through temperature changes. We monitor your eye movements, which then lets us know whether both ears can sense the changes, confirming or informing of the vestibular system status (unilateral or bilateral loss).

Frequently asked questions

Post-concussion syndrome is a complex condition that requires a lot of care and time to fully recover from. You could experience significant fatigue, inability to effectively concentrate, headaches, poor balance, and loss of fine motor control. These and more are the result of concussion damage to three major areas in your body, which all require the care our clinic can provide:

  • Physical damage the cell wall of the brain
  • Damage to the motor systems of the eyes and balance
  • Cervucigenic symptoms such as pain in the neck

Broadview Health Centre offers specialized equipment and technology that helps us diagnose problems and treat them effectively in regards to concussions and other mild-traumatic brain injuries. These tools are a mix of physical tests and electrical monitors working in tandem to give evaluations of the body’s control over balance and motor control, giving us invaluable information on a patents condition by:

  • Evaluating the body’s ability to balance on flat and uneven surfaces
  • Balance when a patents head is turning in various directions
  • Building information on how a concussion effects an individual

Broadview Spine & Health Centre utilized state of the art diagnosis equipment to allow us to gain quality information on how to approach treatment to every patent’s unique symptoms. A Videonystagmography allows us to get a fine-tuned reading of eye movements on video and with graphical representation.

  • Helps us identify where damage is located in the brain
  • Helps develop a customized program for the patient
  • Provides conclusive evidence for brain injury symptoms

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