London - Goggles are being used to help diagnose the balance condition benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, also known as BPPV.
A crucial component of our balance system are “ear rocks”, calcium carbonate crystals that are held in a pouch in the inner ear and help stimulate nerves when we move our heads.
In BPPV, these rocks fall out of position (due to a virus, head injury or ageing) and float into other parts of the ear, triggering dizziness.
Specialists diagnose the condition by assessing twitching in the eyes, as the rocks interfere with signals from the ear to the part of the brain that causes eye movement. However, in daylight the eye tends to fixate on objects, which can make twitching difficult to detect.
The goggles worn by the patient prevent this from happening because they examine the eyes in the dark. They use infrared imaging and a camera to send magnified pictures of the eye to a computer screen. - Daily Mail