Dix-Hallpike Test for Vertigo
The Dix-Hallpike test (also called Nylen-Barany test) determines whether vertigo is triggered by certain head movements. Your doctor will carefully observe any involuntary eye movements (nystagmus) that may occur during this test to determine if the cause of your vertigo is central or peripheral. Central vertigo is caused by a problem inside the brain, and peripheral vertigo is caused by a problem with the inner ear or the nerve leaving the inner ear. The Dix-Hallpike test also can help determine which ear is likely affected. During the test:
Why It Is Done
The Dix-Hallpike test locates the cause of vertigo as either the inner ear or the brain. If the problem is in the ear, this test can determine which ear is affected.
A normal test result means that you did not have vertigo or nystagmus during the test.
An abnormal test result means that you had vertigo or nystagmus during the test. It is likely that the vertigo is caused by an inner ear or brain problem, depending on the way you reacted to the test.
What To Think About
The test can be uncomfortable because of the vertigo and nausea that may result.
The test is inexpensive, easy to do, and is commonly done as part of the physical exam when you visit your doctor with complaints of dizziness or vertigo.
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