MAV and the ENG Test

Hi, New here. I am exhibiting all of the classic MAV signs. Did have some BPPV along with it, which has susided for the most part, I was to dovest. rehab exercises at home (Brandt maneuver, etc) following several weeks of PT. They seem to make the dizziness and dysequilibrium worse. Now I am scheduled to have an ENG test in a few days. I am so dizzy and whacked out already, I am thinking this test is going to clobber me with additional symptoms. The problem is that I have a commitment two days after the test that I cannot miss. Has anyone experienced severe symptoms after having the ENG? If so how bad and how long? I am about to reschedule. I am not sure what good this test will do if I have MAV anyways. Thanks.


Hi Peter,

Back in 1997 i had the ENG done (with water) and for me personally it was very difficult because it brought on a feeling of Vertigo as the test was being administered and i was in really bad shape in the 1990’s. I didnot know i had MAV at the time. The ENG was so difficult for me i had to have the Tech stop the test after about 30 seconds. My next step was to visit the closest bathroom because it upset my stomach. Vertigo almost always makes me vomit. Please don’t let my story keep you from trying the test…most people have little or no problem with it. I have always been very motion sensitive even before MAV. I’m prone to Motion Sickness …if on a fishing boat, carnival rides or driving in curvey roads in the mountains. So i was not surprised i had difficulty with the ENG.



They seem to make the dizziness and dysequilibrium worse.

This is, in the words of Steve Rauch, diagnostic for MAV.

I am so dizzy and whacked out already, I am thinking this test is going to clobber me with additional symptoms. The problem is that I have a commitment two days after the test that I cannot miss.

One word: reschedule. I posted a study the other day (see below) showing that dizziness stimulated by the caloric test was a potent migraine trigger. You’re already in a cycle now. Adding this on top of it all will probably send you into the stratosphere. The caloric wiped me out for 2 weeks. Not worth the risk if you have something important to attend. And you’re right, it’ll likely show nothing anyway. Most people with MAV have normal neurological tests. … rigger.pdf

Cheers … Scott 8)


Like Joe I have a lot of problems with motion sicknes. Honest, even thinking about a roller coaster ride is enough to make me feel off. Because of this and because the doctor was quite sure I had MAV and because I had heard those with MAV have a much worse time with the test than those who don’t I was petrified of taking it and put it off for two years. And I hadn’t even read yet the article Scott posted. I posted a similar question to yours a year or so ago and it seems most everyone came back with horror stories. Two months ago came the point where I HAD to have the test. I was a basket case the week before, filled with anxiety like I have never had. Once I got in the waiting room I could barely walk to the room where the test was performed. I was sure I was facing two solid weeks of vertigo and another two months recovery time. At one point the technician had to call the doctor in to calm me down (that was embarrassing.)

In the end, it honestly wasn’t that bad and I said to myself, I got all worked up over this? I did get vertigo on both sides and it was equally bad with hot and cold water but it was not out of the world bad and it was certainly nowhere near as bad as with my vertigo attacks. The water was squirted in my ears quite hard for 30 seconds. The vertigo started towards the end of the “squirt” and lasted about a minute or two. When it was over it was over, I didn’t have any lasting effects. Though I will say I took a valium before I even left the office, not because I felt like I needed it but because I was afraid of an “aftershock,” also I was told I had to have someone drive and because I get car sick so easily and we were an hour from home I needed something to prevent motion sickness.

The test results showed I had normal function in both ears and both tested equally. One of the other tracking tests showed I have cenral problems rather than perepheral. I found the test where I had to move my eyes back and forth rapidly (had to follow boxes from left to right and back again) much more uncomfortable than the caloric part. I was diagnosed with MAV by the doctor.

With all this said, I’m now questioning in my mind the MAV diagnosis since I didn’t have a bad reaction as did the others with MAV, so I am really interested in hearing if others didn’t have a bad time with this test.


I had the ENG and the vertigo I got in my left ear was horrendous lasted about 3 mins but I didnt suffer any problems afterwards I felt fine within 10 mins I had some very good days after the test!!
Its an individual thing I think but I would go through the test again if I had too , but its not pleasent scott doesnt have a lot of faith in the test and my opinion is diveded on the test too but something important might show up.
I would go for th test but its up to you I hope you make a decsion thats best for you.

Book & Blondie…sounds like my experience with the ENG was worse than yours. Mine was so bad that after i told the Tech to stop the test…i threw up at the office and on the way home i had to tell my friend to stop the car cause i had to throw up again. I was a total train wreck for a few day. I recall the Tech telling me (before i took the test) that only 3% of folks have difficulty with this test…guess i’m in the 3%.


Hi Peter,

I too had the ENG/VNG tests and although it was not pleasant going through them, when the testing was over I did not have any lasting effects. I had it over a year ago but from my recollection, the calorics made me dizzy but it was self limited and within minutes the dizziness calmed down to my normal “dizzy” state and I had no residual effects after I left the doc’s office. Hope that helps.

Good luck!

It does seem like your in the minority Joe that was bad luck and if that happened to me I dont think I would do it again.
But I tried to remember it is a controlled dizziness and it will stop although at the time it dosent feel like it but it does.

Hi guys,

When I took that caloric test it felt pretty uncomfortable/unpleasant during it but I don’t recall my vertigo being any worse afterwards. The one that was really quite hard (tiring) was the eye test - forget what it’s called but you cover one eye and have to track flashing dots and stuff. The technician did warn me a lot of people can’t finish it and have to come back. I had zero interest in re-doing any of those tests so pushed through.


I felt dizzy during the test, but back to baseline right after.

Thanks to all. Food for thought.


I also had the ENG. The caloric part of the test was uncomfortable - a lot of dizziness during and for several minutes afterward but once it was over and I was out of the office, I was back at my baseline. I went by myself and drove home just fine. Test was, for the most part, normal.

Well, I showed up, for my appt. w/my neurologist. He asked the usual questions, did the usual office testing. We talked a bit about MAV (I went with some of the literature posted here in hand). He was reticent to make any diagnosis without the ENG. As my fate would have it, there was a cancellation at that very moment for an ENG just down the hall. He talked me in to it and would see me immediately after. This is a very busy neuro clinic, and I have to drive 1 1/2 hours each way, so if nothing else I figured it would be a time saver. As he sat with me scheduling the ENG, I showed him the info from this sight from Dr. Hain. As it turns out, he had attended a discusion w/Dr. Hain the day before, which gave me some hope that he was open to all posibilities.

The test was uncomfortable but bearable. There was almost no reaction in my right ear for the caloric testing. The testor was a little incredulous. The final verdict ia that I have a 60% vestibular deficit on the right side. Again, they attrubute it to the knock down Vest. Neuritis from 2003. They said my body/brain had compensated very well to get me back to nearly normal, and some stressor, whatever it may be, has caused this relapse. He did not rule out MAV as a partial culprit, and prescribed Effexor towards relieving that possibility. He feels that I can get back to where I was, and sholuld try to think positively. I have to think positively. I know many do not consider the the ENG the accurate gold standard that many MDs do, but mine was so lop-sided that it is evident that there is a large percentage of vest. loss on that side, even with the consideration of percentage error.

I was able to drive home with no difficulty, and am not experiencing any futher deficits at this writing. Oddly enough, my symptoms seem slightly better for whatever reason.

I will be interested to hear your comments, and will continue to check this site.

Thanks for all of the input so far.


Hi Peter,

Wow, you were brave to go through with it. Glad it didn’t knock you around too badly afterwards. A 60% defecit certainly is real. I think what they told you sounds very accurate – that you could still have MAV messing with you. It’s very possible there is a vestibular injury (ENG) and that migraine has been acting as a complicating cofactor preventing you from completely recovering (compensating), and making VRT impossible. Hope the Effexor works and allows you to compensate fully.

Let us know how you go on Effex. If it is not doable there are lots of other meds such as Celexa that might work out better.

Best … Scott