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Dix-Hallpike Test for Vertigo


Picture of the Dix-Hallpike test for vertigo

For this test, you are seated on an exam table. The doctor may ask you to look at his or her nose the whole time the test is done.

The doctor first turns your head to one side and then lowers your head to the table. The doctor watches your eyes for nystagmus. Nystagmus is a rapid, rhythmic movement of the eyes. If you get dizzy and the doctor sees nystagmus, then the doctor knows that the ear pointed to the floor is the affected ear. If the doctor does not see nystagmus, he or she repeats the test on the other side to check your other ear. The timing of the onset of dizziness helps the doctor locate the cause of the dizziness or vertigo.

The doctor then helps you back to the upright position.

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerAnne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerBarrie J. Hurwitz, MD - Neurology
Last RevisedDecember 16, 2010

eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise

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