Europe – New Device Vibrates Skull to Diagnose Cause of Dizziness

Dizziness can be caused by a different underlying health problems, but identifying which is the culprit is not trivial. One technique is called a VEMP test (Vestibular Evoked Myogenic Potentials), which requires the patient to listen to exceedingly loud popping sounds. These sounds, via a natural reflex, trigger the muscles in the eyes and neck to contract momentarily, and these contractions and how quickly they come about can help form a diagnosis.

The problem is that the triggering sounds are so loud that they can cause hearing damage, in addition to causing quite a bit of discomfort for the patients. Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden have now developed a VEMP device that works on the principle of bone conduction to trigger the vestibular system, avoiding unnecessary damage to the ears. It is a small, carefully tuned vibrator that causes the skull to resonate and generate audible sound in the ears…