The service provides a comprehensive balance assessment
and rehabilitation service for individuals who have been referred
to the Audiology Department following an ENT consultation. All
balance assessments are carried out at Darlington Memorial
Hospital by our specialised balance assessment team.
We also offer balance rehabilitation at University
Hospital North Durham and Darlington Memorial Hospital. We
also have close links with the falls team, physiotherapy, social
services, local support groups and many more external
The balance assessment can take approximately 1-2 hours to
complete. During the assessment you may be instructed to look at
lights and move your head and body into various different
positions. Part of the test may require some warm and
cool air (caloric test) to be delivered into your ear
canals to evaluate the function of each balance organ. You may be
asked to wear some goggles containing infrared cameras
(VNG) which will enable us to record your eye movement during each
part of the assessment. We can also now test all
6 semi-circular canals of the balance system with the
introduction of a vHIT system.
The results of the assessment will be analysed and put
into a report for your ENT specialist, along with any
concerns that may have identified. If appropriate, the
Specialised Audiologist may discuss some balance rehabilitation
techniques and/or make an appropriate referral for some balance
management. The results of the assessment will be sent back to your
ENT specialist for review in their ENT clinic.
'As I was very, very nervous, I must have been the worst patient
ever and they were brilliant with me and I can't thank them enough
- could you please pass on my sincere thanks.'
Patient, Hysteroscopy Unit, Chester-le-Street Community