Balance Test

A few days ago, I went for a balance test at the local hospital. There were some dire warnings on the letter - no food for several hours before the test, no medication or alcohol etc. for several days before. take someone with you because it may make you ill. So I was not looking forward to it and expected to be spun about and made dizzy. My fears were completely unfounded as it went very well - apart form the usual fatigue afterwards that we all get.

The tests involved check your general physiology - does something else in your body affect your balance. In my case previous damage to my knee and neck. How you eyes and ears work independently from your brain functions. They gather the test results via a very unobtrusive small camera on a pair of goggles which links up to a laptop

At the end of the test the person walked me through the very detailed graphs that are produced and indicated that there was no underlying problems with my ears, eyes or other injuries which contribute to my balance problems. So the problems with my balance is centred on how my brain receives the feedback.

Whilst it wasn't part of the test, we did discover a huge problem with my night vision - most people react to reduced light up to 7 seconds mine was taking up 20 seconds, again due to the slow brain processing. So I have to watch out for driving at night and long tunnels.

Anyone having balance problems, I would ask for a balance assessment because even though there is no real short term cure, it is strangely beneficial to be able to focus the problems to a narrower area. Well worth spending the hour or so to get it done.

16 Replies

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  • HOW DID THE NO DRUGS RULE AFFECT YOU? MY BI LEFT ME EPILEPTIC & WOULD BE SCAREDTO GO WITHOUT THOSE DRUGS FOR A FEW DAYS. IF I FITTED MY BALANCE WOULD BE MORE RUBBISH THAN USUAL I EXPECT. WAS THERE ANY INFO AVAILABLE FOR EPILEPTICS DOING IT? I WOULD BE INTERESTED IN DOING IT.

  • I haven't any medication for my BI - I was never given any. The only medication I have is for my knee where I have worn away the bone on the knee cap. Really painful for a few days

  • Brain is a funny old thing I do find the inconsistent balance somewhat odd, last night at a wake I found that standing around I tired and started to wobble a bit, and was weaving a touch walking home, should point out no drink, just softies.

    Yet today went for the first time since to Swinley mtbing and absolute fine, I was hardly pushing any limits etc, and I'm a very experienced rider and so on but even so, riding this.

    Yet if I'm tired and standing, and/or on buses I can need to take some care, practically leaving buses where I've come close to hitting the deck a few times now.

  • I can understand tiredness playing a part (from my own experiences) but it is interesting the difference between the bus and riding the bike, it can't be the senses getting overloaded on the bus because there is as much if not more on the bus.

    Great video btw reminds me when I used to ride a motorbike through congested traffic

  • My wife thinks it's a control aspect, it's better if I can see the road ahead, the video isn't mine just so people got the difference until recently it's just been park paths/ tow paths.

    I do find it amusing that Sunday I've been demonstrating a good balance both at speed and at low speed, though narrower sections yet tomorrow I'll probably be taking care getting off the buses/trains sometimes pausing for a moment at the busstop to allow the vertigo to disparate.

    It's puzzling and amusing, not a problem at least I'm not worried any how.

  • To be able to balance on a bike is something and travel forward is something, I can't even think would be possible - Respect

  • Cheers for some reason the MTB's have been fine from get go, clearly just after wouldn't of been wise but after a month or so it was fine balance wise, and oddly if tired on the bike I don't make mistakes, walking I'll trip up on pavement edges etc. aren't brains fantastic !

  • I used to find that walking on the treadmill gave me vertigo, the machine would stop but I felt like I was till moving,I needed help to get off the treadmill and a chair to sit on till the world stopped moving but whilst on the treadmill I had no problem!

    When on the cross trainer I had to backwards because I felt like I was being catapulted off the him when I went forwards.

    Worst thing for me was patterned floors. Some of them made me feel like the floor was rippling, a very odd feeling that under your feet it's solid but the brain is telling you it's moving.

  • Strange isn't it can't use a treadmill either - same as you can't cope with the floor moving but standing still,

    My problem when I look at a lot of flooring is that it looks like it rising up like I am going up a slope - weird

  • Hia Sospan i had a balance test just before Xmas and have now been diagnosed with visual vertigo. Now i have the diagnoses it is much easier explaining

    what the problem is with my balance. Shame it took 7 years to be tested!

    Like you am glad i went for the test. Best Wishes

  • Strange feeling isn't it when you get something tangible in your hand, even if it confirms something you more or less know.

  • MTB sounds great. I don't want to be a scaremonger but, please take care. An MTB was the source of my TBI. That said, we can get them in many ways and sometimes "shit happens!"

  • The MTB if any thing seems safer than walking at the moment yet to fall off it, at least this century any how!

    More seriously I was always fairly risk adverse pre, and I'm far from a risk taker now. Plus these things are fairly low risk, I assume you fell? My TBI was from a bike, low speed in a flat park, no idea what happened I seem to have just rolled sideways off the bike, which was fine!

  • I'd love to take this balance test to get a more comprehensive assessment but I take a variety of medications which I'm not supposed to miss for even one day, so I suppose that rules me out ?

  • Don't know which ones you could or couldn't take. The hospital would advise you but of all the tests I have had so far this is the one that I felt was the most interesting and beneficial in terms of reassurance.

  • Thanks sospan.

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