What is the vestibular system?
The vestibular system is a part of the inner ear that is responsible for balance. It is made up of three main parts: the semicircular canals, the utricle, and the saccule. These structures contain hair cells that are sensitive to movement. When the head moves, the hair cells bend, which sends signals to the brain. The brain interprets these signals to determine the position and movement of the head.
What is the function of the vestibular system?
The vestibular system has two main functions:
- Balance: The vestibular system helps us to maintain our balance. It does this by sending signals to the brain about the position and movement of the head. This information is used by the brain to keep us from falling over.
- Spatial orientation: The vestibular system also helps us to maintain our spatial orientation. This means that it helps us to know where we are in space and how we are moving. This information is used by the brain to help us with tasks such as walking, driving, and reading.
What are the 3 components of the vestibular system?
The three main components of the vestibular system are:
- Semicircular canals: The semicircular canals are three fluid-filled tubes that are located in the inner ear. They are responsible for detecting angular acceleration, which is the rotation of the head.
- Utricle: The utricle is a sac-like structure that is located in the inner ear. It is responsible for detecting linear acceleration, which is the movement of the head in a straight line.
- Saccule: The saccule is another sac-like structure that is located in the inner ear. It is responsible for detecting gravity.
What part of the brain controls the vestibular system?
The vestibular system is controlled by the vestibular nuclei, which are located in the brainstem. The vestibular nuclei receive signals from the vestibular system and send signals to other parts of the brain, such as the cerebellum and the cortex. These signals are used by the brain to maintain balance and spatial orientation.
What are 2 symptoms of vestibular problems?
Two common symptoms of vestibular problems are:
- Vertigo: Vertigo is a sensation of spinning or feeling like the world is spinning around you.
- Dizziness: Dizziness is a feeling of unsteadiness or lightheadedness.
Other symptoms of vestibular problems may include:
- Ear fullness
- Trouble walking
If you experience any of these symptoms, it is important to see an audiologist to get diagnosis and treatment.