Testing For Dizziness

Fibromyalgia Guide

Vertigo Testing


Doctor's Questions
Physical Examination
Other Tests

Questions Your Doctor Will Ask

Most cases of vertigo can be diagnosed in a doctors office. First your doctor will want to know:

1. What sort of symptoms you are experiencing.
2. How long you have had symptoms, and how long they usually last for.
3. How often do symptoms occur.
4. Do you also experience hearing loss, ringing in the ear (tinnitus), nausea, vomiting or feeling that the ear is blocked?
5. Does anything trigger symptoms, such as moving your head in a certain direction?
6. What medications are you taking (it may be a reaction).
7. Have you had an ear infection or head injury?
8. Is there a family history of migraines or Ménière's disease?

Physical Examination

Your doctor will examine your ears for signs of infection. If there is no infection and he suspects the cause may be benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), he will perform the Dix-Hallpike's maneuver (sometimes called the positional vertigo test). This test can bring on symptoms of vertigo. You will be asked to move your head to the right or left, then lie down with your head hanging slightly back. If you have BPPV, you are likely to feel dizzy when you do this. If you do feel dizzy, your doctor will show you how to do the Epley's maneuver (a treatment for BBPV, see treatment for vertigo).

See The TEST By Video:

Other Tests


If dizziness is a result of injury, your doctor may order a CT scan or MRI scan to check your head and neck. It can also check for a non-cancerous tumor called acoustic neuroma.

Hearing Test

If you have ringing in your ears and some hearing loss, your doctor may refer you to an ENT specialist (Ear, Nose and Throat). This consultant can perform a neurological test called an electronystagmography (ENG). This involves testing both ears for hearing, testing the eyes for movement and checking your response to changes in position and posture.

Blood Tests

A complete blood count is occasionally ordered to rule out illnesses like hypothyroidism, kidney disease, anemia or infection.

Related Articles on Vertigo

For more on dizziness, see the following:

Causes of vertigo: Is there a cause?
Fainting: Main causes of fainting.
Head problems: A to Z of common conditions.

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