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VNG is Excruciatingly Painful
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An_250160 posted:
I recently had a VNG test at a local neurology center. It was so painful that I could not make it through it, I had to beg them to stop.

The first two parts of the test were awkward and uncomfortable, but not painful. But the last part involved inserting something into my ear and blasting me with hot air. The pain was excruciating -- like a needle being plunged deep into the ear, and then unleashing air with the concentrated fury of a fire hose. I knew I was in trouble about fifteen seconds into it, by thirty seconds I was emitting loud expletives and by forty I had yelled for them to stop. The technicians inquired as to whether I was experiencing nausea, which I definitely was, but that was nothing in comparison with the intense pain of being stabbed deeply in the ear and blasted with incredibly forceful air.

I could not proceed with the rest of the test, and informed my doctor never again would I submit to a VNG. A day later, my ear is still killing me, I'm still queasy, and I'm not hearing all that well.

I've been reading online about VNGs and incredibly, there seem to be no warnings about the intense pain involved -- only about dizziness and nausea. I can't figure out whether the horrible intensity of the experience is being glossed over by the medical community or whether they just botched my case something awful. In any case, I want people considering a VNG to be informed of how horrendously painful it can be. It is not fun to have your ear stabbed and blasted with an intense air stream. And I cannot fathom how it can possibly be safe. In my opinion this is a procedure that the medical community needs to find a safe alternative to, and fast.
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DZahran responded:
I had a VNG also. Did they use air instead of water for the caloric testing? Everytime my neurotologist blows air in my right ear I have horrible pain that takes days to go away. I recently had a tube put in that ear which cause so much pain it had to be removed after 4 days. My doctor said this is not typical and for some unkown reason my eardrum is hypersensitive. I believe mine is from barotrauma (flying) as this how my vertigo started. Do you think you might have any pressure injury to your ears?
 
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Pained replied to DZahran's response:
I'm not aware of any pressure injury or any reason for one. The more I read up on VNGs I think that something went very wrong on their end. The materials I was given say that I should have experienced "little discomfort" from the test. There is just no way that anyone could experience "little discomfort" with air being blasted into one's inner ear with such intensity. The only thing I don't know is whether my particular office screwed up or whether the medical community in general is not owning up to the painful intensity of this test.
 
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rosieflo94 responded:
I too had that test...yes, it was really uncomfortable...I told my husband if they said you could either do this test again or die...I really had to think about it!! I am not sure that it really is helpful for the amount of pain you go through...my left ear caused a bad reaction when they put the hot air in and I was spinning and feeling really sick very quickly...they made me do it again!! The rest of the day and for a week my ear felt funny....to this day, that ear is sensitive to sound more so than before...
I do think people should be informed before they get the test of how horribly uncomfortable it is.


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