The vestibular system, or balance system, can also be investigated by an audiologist in order to confirm asymmetric function of the semicircular canals within the ear. It is the malfunction of these canals that can lead to symptoms of vertigo or ‘giddiness’ and in some cases cause varying degrees of hearing loss.
The procedures involve analysing the eye movements associated with the turning sensation sometimes experienced by patients with balance disorders. These eye movements can be induced through positional changes, attempting to follow a visual stimuli or having the ear irrigated with hot or cold water/air. These tests can take up to 1 hour 30 minutes to effectively complete.