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Vestibular Tests: Rotary Chair

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Vestibular Tests: The Rotary Chair
Kristen Janky, Au.D., Ph.D., CCC-A, Vestibular Audiologist

The rotary chair is just what it sounds like. It’s a motorized chair that turns back and forth. The chair is housed in a light tight booth, so the door is closed. Just like the BNG test patients will wear goggles that monitor their eye movements. Typically one of two things happens in the rotary chair. Either the rotary chair will oscillate back and forth or the rotary chair will spin in a complete circle for about 45 seconds and then stop and then spin in a complete circle for about 45 seconds in the opposite direction and then come to a complete stop.

The purpose of the test is to look at how well the balance center is working. This test is generally done in individuals who cannot have the caloric test done or can’t tolerate the caloric test of for young children who are not going to lay still while we put water in their ears.

The rotary chair test is a typical test of vestibular function for children age six months and up.

In our Vestibular Tests Video Series, Kristen Janky, Au.D, Ph.D., CCC-A​, Vestibular Audiologist at Boys Town National Research Hospital, explains the Rotary Chair test.

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