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Electronystagmogram (ENG)

How It Is Done

An electronystagmogram (ENG) may be done in a hospital or in a doctor's office by a doctor or hearing specialist (audiologist).

Before the test begins, your eyes and ears will be checked. Any earwax in your ear canal will be removed.

Five electrodes will be attached with a special paste to your face. You will be in a dark room for the test. The test may have six parts.

  • To find the right settings for the measuring tool, you will follow a moving point of light with only your eyes. You should not move your head during this part of the test.
  • Readings will be taken with your eyes closed. You may be given a mental task to do, such as an arithmetic problem, during this part of the test. Readings will be taken while you look straight ahead and to each side.
  • Readings will be taken while your eyes follow the back-and-forth movement of a pendulum.
  • Readings will be taken while you follow a series of moving objects out of your line of vision. As each object leaves your line of vision, you will be asked to look immediately at the next moving object.
  • Readings will be taken while you move your head from side to side and up and down. You may be asked to move your body (as well as your head) into different positions.
  • Near the end of the test, your eye movements may be recorded while cool and warm water is placed inside your ears. In some cases, warm and cool air may be blown gently into your ears instead of using water. This part of the test is called the caloric test and may be done without using electrodes near your eyes. The caloric test is not done if you have a perforated eardrum, because water used in the caloric test can get into the middle ear and lead to infection. The caloric test can be done with air instead of water, but if the eardrum is perforated, the caloric test may not be done at all.

The test may take 60 to 90 minutes.

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.

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