How Do Ears Affect Balance?

Learn how ears affect balance from Ronald A. Hoffman, M.D. in this Howcast video.

Transcript

There are two parts to your inner ear. The organ of hearing, and I think it's pretty obvious to all of us what that does, it hears. And the organ of balance. Your organ of balance in your inner ear tells you your position in space. When you turn, you are aware that you are turning because your inner ear is being stimulated. If you go up in an elevator, you know that you're going up in the elevator because your inner ear is being stimulated.

When your inner ear is not working right, it can cause a whole host of symptoms. In the most extreme case, it causes the false sensation of motion. You feel like you're going up in an elevator when your not. You feel like your turning when your not. And that is the definition of the word vertigo. The false sensation of motion.

But on the spectrum of symptoms that an individual can have due to an abnormality in your inner ear, we have light-headedness, wooziness, spaciness, difficulty focusing, a sense that you're drunk, vague imbalance. All of these symptoms can come from the inner ear organ of balance.

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