What does vestibular dysfunction tell me about my inner ear?


If you have vestibular dysfunction, it means there is a problem in your inner ear. Just behind your eardrum, there is a part of the structure of your inner ear called the vestibular system. It helps your body process the effects of gravity and motion. It is made up of two sections: the semicircular canals and the otolithic organs. The three semicircular canals are filled with fluid and transfer signals to the brain when the head moves. The two otolithic organs, called the utricle and the saccule, are also filled with fluid. They transfer signals to the brain when we move our body and also help the brain determine the position of the head. When there is a problem in your vestibular system, your brain may not be able to register gravity and motion properly.

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Vestibular Dysfunction

The vestibular system, which includes parts of the inner ear and brain, helps you balance and move your eyes. When things go wrong with this system - because of injury, disease, or aging - vestibular dysfunction occurs.If you suff...

er from vestibular dysfunction, you may feel dizzy or off balance, have tinnitus (ringing in your ears), and even have trouble reading or doing arithmetic. People may mistake your symptoms and think you are lazy, nervous, or don't pay attention. For some, just describing symptoms is scary. For others, getting out of bed in the morning is difficult. Sometimes, going about your day is nearly impossible. Vestibular dysfunction can lead to other problems, such as short-term memory lapses, confusion, low self-esteem and self-confidence, anxiety or panic attacks, and depression. Motion sickness, nausea or vomiting, ear pain, and headaches are some other side effects. Vestibular dysfunction can be treated in a variety of ways.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.