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Your First Visit to Center for Balance Disorders at UPMC

Here's what you can expect at your first visit to the UPMC Center for Balance Disorders.

Your Medical History

Prior to your first office visit, we will ask you to complete several forms.

  • Medical history questionnaire asks for information about your:
    • General health
    • Medical background
    • Family history
  • Dizziness questionnaire asks you to describe:
  • Dizziness handicap inventory

What to Expect at Your First Appointment

On the day of your appointment, please bring your completed questionnaires and any lab or imaging test results.

When you arrive, our clinical coordinator — a registered nurse — may interview you about the details of your complaints and discuss your responses to the questionnaires.

Balance Disorder Tests and Exams

During your appointment, our team of balance disorders experts will evaluate and examine you to find an accurate diagnosis and best treatment plan.

Vestibular (balance) laboratory evaluation

An important part of your first visit is testing in the Vestibular (Balance) Laboratory.

Tests such as ocular motor screening and vestibular evoked myogenic potentials provide the team with information about your balance system.

Vestibular lab technicians may perform several different tests, depending on which ones your doctor believes are necessary.

Physical exam

Another important part of your evaluation is a physical exam by your doctor at the Balance Disorders Center.

He or she will test your ability to balance when walking and assess several functions like strength and coordination.

Auditory exam

Hearing problems are often a cause of balance system issues.

A certified audiologist (a professional who evaluates hearing function) will measure your hearing to determine:

  • How loud sounds must be for you to hear them.
  • Whether you can understand simple words to find out if you can hear speech properly.

By measuring your hearing, your doctor can better determine why you are having a balance problem.

The Results of Your Visit

You will receive a detailed explanation of the findings of your evaluation.

Your doctor at the Balance Disorders Center will discuss the results, review treatment options, and give you a specific treatment plan.

Depending on your treatment plan, your doctor may:

  • Prescribe medicine.
  • Ask you to change your diet.
  • Schedule your for balance physical therapy.
  • Refer you to another specialist.
  • Order imaging or other tests to provide additional diagnostic information.

We will send your primary care doctor a letter that includes the results of your tests.

Learn More About Balance Disorders

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From our Health Library:

Vestibular Disorders Association:

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