Training in VNG

Performing spontaneous nystagmus testing (VNG)

10 mins
25 November 2022


The spontaneous nystagmus test forms part of the ocular motor sub-tests within the VNG test battery. 

There are three clear reasons for performing this test.

The first is that a recorded spontaneous nystagmus can be a strong indicator for a vestibular lesion. The strength and direction of nystagmus can help localize this lesion.

The second is to record any underlying eye movements that might be picked up during subsequent tests. By knowing what these eye movements are, we can correct for them in the other tests.

The final reason is that by adding a fixation target in the goggle, we can have a gross estimation of central involvement. If there is spontaneous nystagmus and this is not suppressed by the fixation light, then there may be central involvement that needs further investigation.

How to perform spontaneous nystagmus testing is detailed and demonstrated in this video.


Leigh Martin
Leigh Martin is a British Audiologist and adjunct lecturer at the University of Cork, Ireland. Clinically, he has worked in the National Health Service specializing in paediatric audiology as well as vestibular diagnostics and rehabilitation. Leigh has also sat on the board of directors for the British Academy of Audiology. Since 2013, Leigh has supported the growth and development of the Interacoustics Academy and holds the position of Director of the Academy. Leigh has presented at numerous scientific conferences and meetings across a diverse range of audiological topics as well as having published papers in both video head impulse testing (vHIT) and wideband tympanometry.

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