During a physical exam done to help find a cause for
vertigo, the doctor will pay close attention to your
ears, the motion of your eyes during the Dix-Hallpike test, and your nerve
function, including your reflexes and your ability to balance while standing
The doctor will make a careful visual examination of your ears. He
or she may find a buildup of earwax, which can affect your hearing, or signs of
an ear infection, which can cause vertigo.
The motion of your eyes at rest and during the
Dix-Hallpike test (sometimes also called the
Nylen-Barany test) can point to possible causes of vertigo.
The doctor will do a detailed neurologic exam to check the function
of your nervous system. The
balance-sensing systems of your body depend on proper
nerve function. Checking the function of your nervous system involves a
complete neurological examination that includes testing:
The nerves that connect your brain with your head
and neck (the
cranial nerves) and control the movement of your
The strength of and sensations in your arms and
The reflexes in your arms and legs.
to move and control movement in your arms and legs.
Your ability to
stand in place without swaying.
Your ability to walk
The results of the physical exam and your medical history often allow
the doctor to figure out the cause of your vertigo. If the results are not
clear, the doctor may want to do more tests.
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.