How Much Does a VNG Test Cost?


Written by:  Howmuchisit.org Staff
Last Updated:  August 15, 2018

A VNG test, which stands for a Videonystagmography, will test the vestibular system of the inner ear to help determine if any of the dizziness and/or loss of balance you’re experiencing is due to an inner ear abnormality.

The National Dizzy and Balance Center notes that this sort of test is the new standard over an Electronystagmography because it’s able to measure the movements of the eyes directly via infrared cameras instead of measuring the eye mastoid muscles with electrodes.  It’s known to be more accurate, more comfortable and even more consistent.

VNG Test Cost
Ear” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by Menage a Moi

How much does a VNG test cost?

The cost of a VNG test will greatly depend on the clinic you’re using, the geographical location and your health insurance coverage.  From our research, the costs of the test, without any health insurance coverage, was anywhere from $125 to $310.  Seeing the test takes about two hours to perform and is broken into multiple parts, as we explain below, the costs will heavily depend on your local geographical region hourly rates.

Health insurance, from what we did research, would cover the procedure, but again, this would depend on your health insurance policy.  In one PDF we did find, Medicare would reimburse for the basic vestibular evaluation, the spontaneous nystagmus test, positional nystagmus test and the caloric vestibular test.  The National Dizzy and Balance Center said the testing is covered by all insurances.

Preparing for the test

To make sure the VNG tests are as accurate as possible, doctors recommend:

Avoiding certain medications within the first 48 hours.  Be sure to talk to your doctor ahead of time to know which medication you should avoid.

Avoid alcohol consumption for at least 48 hours prior to the test.

At least four to six hours prior to the test, no food or beverage, with the exception of water, should be consumed.

No smoking a few hours before the test.

Any eye makeup, especially mascara and eyeliner, should not be worn.

Source:  Audiology Hearing and Health

The testing process

According to EverydayHearing.com the test you have will greatly depend on the clinic you choose and its protocol and one way will not be considered better than another; the test will just be utilized in a different way.

Regardless of how the test is performed, it will be broken down into four main parts, namely:

Sensory organization testing – During this portion of the test, you will either stand or walk in random situations, either with your eyes opened or closed.  This, in turn, will help determine how your sensory system is working in sync to help maintain your balance.  This portion, for the most part, may feel as if you lose your balance, but you will not feel dizzy.

Ocular motor testing – For this portion, a specialist will ask that you watch a light back and forth or an object with your eyes in random directions, either with or with goggles designed for the test.  Some people have experienced this portion did make them feel dizzy.  During this time, they will be paying close attention for your ability to follow an object, which may indicate a central or neurological problem and/or a possible problem connecting the vestibular system to the brain.

Positioning/positional testing – With the help of the specialist, you will move your head in various directions, either up or down, side to side, or in a series of random motions.  While moving your head, you will also be asked to either keep your eyes opened or closed during the movement to help record your eyes.

Caloric test – During this portion, which will always be performed at the end, you will lay on your back while either cool or heated water is released inside your ear canal, one canal at a time, starting with the warm water, followed by the cooler water.  This is designed to help stimulate your vestibular system and analyze the responses between each ear, ultimately determining if the vestibular organs are operating properly and/or if one is considered weaker than the other.

The entire process usually takes about 90 to 120 minutes and is considered to be non-invasive, and the only minor discomfort felt is as a result of wearing the goggles used during the process.

Results

The results of this test will help determine if your dizziness and/or balancing issues were caused by an inner ear abnormality.  If the results indicate it is an inner ear issue, then a diagnosis could be made and a treatment plan could be created.  However, if the results are inconclusive or normal, then alternative testing may be considered for the future.


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