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Electronystagmography (ENG) Testing

You have been scheduled for an Electronystagmography (ENG) test. This test provides an objective measure of the vestibular (balance) system. During the test, your eye movements will be recorded and the different patterns of movement will be evaluated.

The test consists of three parts: (1) Eye movements: you will watch a target light that is either stationary or in motion; (2) Positionals: you will move through various head and body positions (i.e., on your back with your head to the right); and (3) Calorics: your ears will be warmed or cooled with 60 seconds of airflow into your ear canals. The third portion of the test may elicit a sensation of turning that lasts less than two minutes and subsides as the ear returns to your normal body temperature. The purpose of these procedures is to determine if any of them elicit nystagmus (rhythmic, involuntary eye movements).

Audiology Services

ABR and Stacked ABR (Audiology Brainstem Response)
Adult Acoustic Immittance
ENG Instructions
Otoacoustic Emissions
Pediatric Hearing Test
Pediatric Acoustic Immittance

The balance system is altered by certain medications, caffeine and alcoholic beverages. In order to obtain an accurate measurement of your balance system, it is important for you to follow these instructions.

Do not take the following medications or substances 72 hours prior to testing:

  • Sleeping Pills
  • Tranquilizers
  • Cold or Allergy Pills
  • Barbiturates Pain killers with Codeine Antihistamines
  • Dizziness medications
  • Aspirin
  • Anti-depressants
  • Narcotics of any kind (including marijuana)
  • Alcoholic beverages

If you forget and take any of the above medications or drink alcohol, please call the clinician as soon as possible. Most likely it will be necessary to reschedule your appointment.

Do not discontinue medications for diabetes, heart disease, thyroid problems, high blood pressure, epilepsy or seizures, antibiotics or birth control pills.

Be sure to get a good night’s rest before the test. On the day of test, you may eat a light breakfast or lunch, but do not smoke or drink coffee or caffeine two hours prior to testing. Do not wear eye or face makeup or any moisturizers on your face or around the eye area. Please remove contact lenses before your appointment. We recommend you wear comfortable clothing.

The test will take approximately 1 ¼ hours, so please be on time for your appointment. Should you have any questions about the ENG test or these instructions, please ask one of the audiologists.

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Palo Alto Office
1900 University Avenue, Suite 101
E. Palo Alto, CA 94303
Phone: (650) 494-1000
Fax: (650) 322-8228
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California Ear Institute