What is the role of hyperventilation testing in the evaluation of dizziness, vertigo, and imbalance?

Updated: Mar 13, 2017
  • Author: Hesham M Samy, MD, PhD; Chief Editor: Robert A Egan, MD  more...
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Answer

If the results of vestibular examination are normal, hyperventilation for 2 minutes is helpful in identifying patients with hyperventilation syndrome. This should be done in the sitting position. Hyperventilation must be done while the physician monitors for nystagmus by using Frenzel goggles or an infrared video system. Hyperventilation can accentuate both central and peripheral vestibular dysfunction and reproduce dizziness and neurologic symptoms due to either true pathology or underlying anxiety or stress.


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