I’m just curious what types of tests that are usually done to exclude other factors and narrow it down to MAV? Did any of you have a lot of tests done or were your doctors fairly confident in the beginning of what it was? And what were the tests like for you?

I’m the type of person who is terrified of hospitals and medical tests, and yet I find that I would rather go through them and have a diagnosis that sit here wondering what is wrong for many years.

I had an mri- which was normal. I also had a hearing test- which came back normal.

Then went through a series of balance testing.

I can’t remember the name of it now. I first test is the one where you stand in the booth and you are strapped into a harness and the floor and the walls begin to move and you have to keep your balance. ( had a hard time with this test)

The second test- I had to look at the letter E on a computer screen and tell the man which way the E was pointed=left-rigt-up-down-all the time moving my heard right to left- ( this test was difficult for me) The third test-was the vemp test- They stick stobes to your head and there is a series of noises. Beleive they are checking for meneires disease- this test was not hard for me.

4th test was the rotational chair- They stick you a chair in a dark room that rotates and you where googles. Have to follow a light. Dificult test for me. Made me dizzy.

5th-was the eng/vng- - This test they do an number of differnt things. The most challanging is they squirt air in your ear to induce dizziness to watch you eye movements(another diffucult test for me).

Overall, did not care for the testing. The rotational chair and the eng where the worst but I got through it. It wasn’t terrible but I just hate the sensation of dizziness anymore and don’t want to feel it ever again. It really wasn’t any worse than I have felt in the past two years. They said caloric loss of 26 percent. They still beleive mav is a problem as I do. I seem to have food triggers. I have classic mav symptoms(foggy head,problems in stores etc) but responding well to topamax.

It is not uncommon for people who have mav to go through all these test and have them all come back normal. Mav is a diag of exclusion.


Brain MRI: normal
Some visual field tests (don’t remember what they were called): everything normal.
Standard vision tests: normal
Had extensive hearing tests done a few years ago due to episodic tinnitus in my right ear–everything completely normal.

Since my imbalance was episodic and would go away when I avoided triggers, they never did any balance testing with me because I could easily pass all the basic balance tests on my office visits. I asked them if it would help if I showed up at the visits symptomatic (aka did they want me to trigger the rocking vertigo by exposing myself to bright light before coming in) and they never asked me to do so.

I also forgot I went to see a neuro-opthalmologist (he was the most wonderful dr. in the world). He did a bunch of different vision test on me. Told me my vision was under duress from all the vestibular issues. I had to do some vision therapy for a while. I have computer glasses now. Still have problems using computers though. Now being told I stil need more vision therapy and more vestibular therapy. Uggh. Is it ever going to end?


Thanks for your responses :slight_smile: I’m sorry that you’ve had to go through so many tests. I guess that it the problem when it’s a matter of excluding everything. My hearing and vision tests have always been normal. I do wear glasses regularly, but my last test was only 6 months ago and aside from the long-sightedness, there were no other issues. Hearing test was all normal too, and funnily enough the guy who tested it had had issues with vertigo himself. He was the third person to mention migraines to me which ultimately led me here.

The balance tests do not sound fun at all :frowning:

I was lucky to avoid almost all of the balance tests. Since my balance fluctuated, but returned to completely normal between episodes of instability, they didn’t really test me. They checked me briefly when I was NOT unsteady and determined I was fine and that was pretty much the end of it. It was like a 5 minute field sobriety test you would take on a bad traffic stop. :slight_smile:

I have been to a doc that does vision therapy. I was told more than likely my vision is a vestibular issue. I stood on a balance
beam that was about 6 inches off the ground, he threw a ball in my direction, its on a string so no way it could hit me. I couldn’t
look at the ball and stay on the beam for the life of me. I often think back, and think could anyone…?
I have not been back to do any of the therapy. How is it working for you, have you seen a change at all? My eyes dont like the computer.
Its hard to focus when reading alot. The words are clear, but also seem shimmery. Cant explain it. thanks. Kay


The only vision therapy he had me do was stare at the light for twenty minutes a day (hated it. Was the most boring thing in the world to do) It helped me but I still have a lot of vision problems. My otologist told me I still need vision therapy but I haven’t gone back. Computers are hard for me. I did purchase computer glasses (for computer vision syndrome) from the same doctor who did the vision therapy. They were expensive but I work on computer for eight hour a day and its very provoking for me. I don’t know how I ever got by without them.

Hi Bexta

Interesting question and also to hear what everyones been getting up to…The first neuro I saw was a very confident fella. Now i know what we all know - I do get it.

I had a history of migraine (no dizziness), family history (again no dizziness) and we were both looking at an MRI which was pretty normal but had more of those tiny white spots 20% of those of us with migraine have. My 10 yr old and I both have them and they swear they are harmless… An neuro examination in his rooms and a simple balance test or two and we were done and diagnosed as MAV. Info sheets, scripts in hand etc etc.

However I still couldnt quite believe the full MAV catastrophe could come on so suddenly, 24/7. Last year I did travel and have most of the other tests people have mentioned with Dr Halmagyi & co. The tests were survivable but certainly did not want much lunch :frowning: .

The diagnosis was the same - if you have a pile of 'our" symptoms - particularly if they have come on suddenly and completely disrupt your life, it is hard to avoid the MRI or the hearing tests I would have thought…then you can all focus on treatments which do help a lot of people…

So now I believe them all and for that was probably worth it…certainly allows a focus on trying to solve the problem and ruling out even more terrible things…having a label is not all bad either - you can search it and find the wonder that is this board and its people… :smiley: I have a couple of friends who have very headche/ severe vertigo that knocks them out for a day or so then gets completely better for up to a year. They (or their drs) havent bothered with tests.