Skip to content

Brain & Nervous System Health Center

Font Size
A
A
A

Electronystagmogram (ENG)

An electronystagmogram (ENG) measures normal eye movement and involuntary rapid eye movements called nystagmus. It also checks the muscles that control eye movements. ENG checks how well the eyes, inner ears camera.gif, and brain help you keep your balance and position (such as when you change from lying down to standing).

ENG is done to help see whether there is damage or a problem in how the inner ear, brain, or nerves connecting them work. These problems may cause dizziness, vertigo, or loss of balance.

Nystagmus occurs normally when the head is moved. But nystagmus without moving your head or nystagmus that does not go away may be caused by conditions that affect the inner ear, brain, or the nerves connecting them.

During ENG, electrodes are attached to the face near the eyes to record eye movements. The movements are recorded on graph paper. A series of recordings is done.

  • Baseline recordings are taken with your head at rest.
  • More recordings are done:
    • While you move your head up and down, left and right.
    • While you look at a moving object.
    • After warm or cold water (or air) is placed inside your ears.

Why It Is Done

An electronystagmogram (ENG) is done to:

  • Find where the problem is in the inner ear, brain, or nerves connecting them that is causing dizziness, vertigo, or a loss of balance.
  • Find any damage to structures or nerves in the inner ear, brain, or nerves connecting them.

How To Prepare

For 2 to 5 days before the test, you will be asked to stop taking:

Your doctor may ask you to eat a light meal or not eat for 3 to 4 hours before the test, because the test can cause nausea and vomiting.

Do not wear facial makeup during the test so the electrodes can attach to the skin.

If you normally wear glasses, contact lenses, or hearing aids, bring them to the test.

If you have a neck or back problem, tell your doctor, so your neck and back will be protected during the test.

1 | 2 | 3 | 4

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: October 10, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

Today on WebMD

nerve damage
Learn how this disease affects the nervous system.
senior woman with lost expression
Know the early warning signs.
 
woman in art gallery
Tips to stay smart, sharp, and focused.
medical marijuana plant
What is it used for?
 
senior man
Article
boy hits soccer ball with head
Slideshow
 
Graphic of active brain
Article
Vaccine and needle
VIDEO
 
brain illustration stroke
Slideshow
human brain
Article
 
most common stroke symptoms
Article
Graphic of number filled head and dna double helix
Quiz