Falls and traffic accidents are some of the most leading causes of traumatic brain injuries. If you were hurt in an accident like this, you could have suffered a concussion – the most common type of traumatic brain injury. A concussion can cause a number of symptoms, including headaches, problems with memory and focus, and dizziness.
Getting a VNG test in Birmingham can reveal if you have a traumatic brain injury and how severe it is. VNG stands for videonystagmography, which is a series of tests that evaluate your inner ear and central motor functions. It’s simple, painless, and can reveal if an accident damaged your brain, organs and nerves in your inner ear, or both.
If you are having balance problems after a fall or motor vehicle accident, contact our Birmingham injury clinic, AlaMed Injury Clinics, about getting a VNG test today. Finding out the root cause of your symptoms is the first step towards developing an effective treatment plan. Our clients can take advantage of VNG testing through our sister company Hope Neurology.
Table of Contents
What Is VNG or Videonystagmography?
VNG stands for videonystagmography, which is a series of tests that evaluate the health of your inner ear and your central motor function. A VNG evaluation measures a person’s ability to follow visual objects with their eyes and how well the eyes respond to information from the inner ear.
This technology can be used to uncover the reasons behind balance problems, vertigo, and dizziness. For many people, such issues can get in the way of doing even basic everyday tasks. Finding out what’s causing your symptoms is the first step towards getting effective treatment.
VNG can reveal if you have a traumatic brain injury and how serious it is. It may also show there’s something wrong with the balance structures in your inner ear.
What Does a VNG Test Diagnose?
VNG is used to diagnose issues with the vestibular system. The vestibular system includes the parts of the inner ear and brain that process the sensory information involved with controlling balance and eye movements.
Inner ear problems and a concussion can both cause dizziness. To make things more complicated, head trauma could damage the brain, the inner ear and the vestibular nerve, as well as the visual and ocular-motor pathway that regulate eye movements.
A VNG test analyzes the cause of balance disorders and helps determine where the problem is.
According to the American Journal of Sports Medicine:
“Vestibular/Ocular Motor screening allows clinicians to be 90 percent accurate in identifying patients with a concussion.”
What are the Most Common Causes of Traumatic Brain Injury?
The three most common causes of traumatic brain injuries are falls, sports injuries, and vehicle accidents.
The following stats show how much these three causes contribute to TBIs:
- The CDC reported that in 2014, 52% of TBI-related hospitalizations were caused by falls and 20% were caused by motor vehicle crashes.
- Falls caused 49% of TBI-related emergency department visits by children and teens under 17.
- Four in five (81%) TBI-related emergency department visits in adults aged 65 and older were caused by falls.
- It has been estimated that up to 3.8 million concussions happen in the USA each year during competitive sports and recreational activities. However, as many as 50% of the concussions may go unreported.
Concussion and TBI
A concussion is the most common type of traumatic brain injury. It is caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or by a hit to the body that causes the head and brain to move rapidly back and forth.
Most people don’t lose consciousness after a concussion. The immediate symptoms, like dizziness, headaches, and confusion, may not seem that serious. But without treatment, a concussion can long-lasting problems, including:
- Memory loss
- Vision problems
- Loss of balance
- Changes in mood
- Lack of focus
If you suffered a head injury and think you may be dealing with the effects of a concussion, contact us today to learn more about VNG testing and our therapy options.
Symptoms of Concussions and TBI
A concussion involves a short loss of normal brain function. The brain controls everything in the body as well as our moods and emotions, so a concussion can have a wide range of symptoms.
People may show some signs of a concussion immediately, but other symptoms might appear hours, days, or even weeks after the injury.
Common symptoms after a concussion include headaches, forgetting the event that caused the concussion, and confusion.
Other signs of a concussion include:
- Feeling of pressure in the head
- Dizziness or “seeing stars”
- Fatigue or drowsiness
- Ringing in the ears
- Blurry vision
- Sensitivity to light and noise
- Disorders of taste and smell
- Temporary loss of consciousness (doesn’t always happen)
- Slurred Speech
- Delayed response to questions
- Appearing dazed
- Confusion or feeling like you’re in a fog
- Concentration and memory complaints
- Irritability and other personality changes
- Sleeping more or less than normal
If you have these symptoms, contact AlaMed Injury Clinics about getting tested for a TBI using VNG.
What Happens During a VNG Test?
VNG is used to determine the cause of dizziness, vertigo, and balance problems. It can reveal if you have a traumatic brain injury and how serious it is. It can also point to problems with the inner ear’s organs, nerves, and structures.
During the test, you sit in a dark room and wear special goggles. These goggles have an infrared camera that records your eye movements. The test will check your ability to follow visual objects with your eyes and how well your eyes respond to information from the inner ear. This method is more accurate than the previous ENG method as well as more comfortable.
There are four parts to most VNG evaluations:
- You will be asked to follow objects with your eyes as they jump from place to place, stand still, or move smoothly.
- You will be asked to view a large, continuously moving visual image to see if your eyes can appropriately track these movements.
- The technician will move your head and body into various positions to make sure that there are no inappropriate eye movements when your head is in different positions.
- The technician will put warm and cold air into your inner ears (one at a time). They will check the movement of your eyes to make sure the nerves in both of your ears can sense the air.
With VNG, it’s possible to determine if the underlying problem involves the peripheral vestibular system (the inner ear, and the pathways/nerves connecting to the brainstem) or the central vestibular system (the brain and brainstem).
Contact AlaMed Injury Clinics About Getting a VNG Test in Birmingham
At AlaMed Injury Clinics we offer a wide variety of medical-based treatments for personal injury victims. We see many people hurt in car accidents and slip-and-falls who suffer concussions. This type of traumatic brain injury can leave you suffering from headaches, dizziness, balance problems, and a variety of other symptoms. If not properly treated, a concussion can result in long-term physical, mental, and emotional issues.
Luckily, there’s a simple, painless test that can reveal if you have a traumatic brain injury and how serious it is – VNG. VNG or videonystagmography is a technology for evaluating the health of your inner ear and central motor function. It can be used to pinpoint if an accident damaged your brain or other parts of the body’s system for controlling balance, like the delicate inner ear.
If you are experiencing balance problems, dizziness, or other signs of a concussion, contact us about getting a VNG test today! Our patients can take advantage of VNG testing through our sister company Hope Neurology. Contact our Birmingham injury clinic, AlaMed Injury Clinics, by calling (205) 850-7387 or filling out our online form.