County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust places cookies on your computer to improve our website. These cookies don't collect information that identifies a visitor and are all anonymous.� They are used to measure its performance and to provide enhancements to you while using the site. To find out more about the cookies we use, see our privacy policy. Close

Balance assessment

The service provides a comprehensive balance assessment and rehabilitation service for individuals who have been referred to the Audiology Department following an ENT consultation. All balance assessments are carried out at Darlington Memorial Hospital by our specialised balance assessment team.

We also offer balance rehabilitation at University Hospital North Durham and Darlington Memorial Hospital. We also have close links with the falls team, physiotherapy, social services, local support groups and many more external rehabilitation services.    

The balance assessment can take approximately 1-2 hours to complete. During the assessment you may be instructed to look at lights and move your head and body into various different positions. Part of the test may require some warm and cool air (caloric test) to be delivered into your ear canals to evaluate the function of each balance organ. You may be asked to wear some goggles containing infrared cameras (VNG) which will enable us to record your eye movement during each part of the assessment. We can also now test all 6 semi-circular canals of the balance system with the introduction of a vHIT system.  

The results of the assessment will be analysed and put into a report for your ENT specialist, along with any concerns that may have identified. If appropriate, the Specialised Audiologist may discuss some balance rehabilitation techniques and/or make an appropriate referral for some balance management. The results of the assessment will be sent back to your ENT specialist for review in their ENT clinic.

  • bal team

'In recent times, I have utilised admissions to Richardson for respite direct from my fracture clinic, even at weekends. I have never worked anywhere with this efficiency before - it is reassuring and invaluable for the patient.'

Patient, Lowson / Starling Wards, Richardson Hospital