New technology helps diagnose balance disorders

New rotary chair helps better diagnose patients at Baylor College of Medicine's Center for Balance Disorder.
New rotary chair helps better diagnose patients at Baylor College of Medicine’s Center for Balance Disorder.

Baylor College of Medicine’s Center for Balance Disorders is using cutting-edge technology to help diagnose patients with balance disorders, through a new rotary chair.

Dizziness and imbalance are common complaints that physicians hear and can be caused by a number of things, including:

  • Poor circulation
  • Heart problems
  • Inner ear problems
  • Diet
  • Stroke

“Once more life-threatening diagnoses are ruled out, it’s important to determine if the patient has an inner ear disorder,” said Sharon Congdon, clinical research manager at the Center for Balance Disorders. “Inner ear problems can change the way a person functions in their daily life activities.”

The best possible tests for inner ear problems include recording eye movements combined with rotary chair testing, Congdon added.

Baylor’s rotary chair is unlike traditional diagnostic tools because it moves at higher frequencies, which mimics actual movements that people make. As the chair rotates it also records the patient’s eye movement.

The ability to test at a higher frequency allows researchers to gain a better understanding of the patient’s inner ear function, which then allows physicians to more accurately diagnose and treat the patient.

Experiencing dizziness and imbalance? Call our Center for Balance Disorders for an appointment at 713-798-6336.

-By Julia Parsons

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