The inner ear contains three semicircular canals that are responsible for gathering information about the position and movement of the head and body. Inside the canals is a fluid called endolymph. When you move your head, the endolymph moves, causing information to be sent to the brain about the body’s position. This is called our vestibular system and it helps us maintain the orientation of our bodies in space and helps us keep our posture and sense of balance. It helps us regulate our movements and focus visually while our bodies are in motion.
Many words are used to describe dizziness. These include disorientation, imbalance, light-headedness and swaying but true vertigo is characterized by a spinning sensation. Vertigo can be accompanied by nausea, vomiting and sweating. For some sufferers, dizziness can last only a few short seconds while others may experience dizziness for much longer periods. Imbalance symptoms can afflict all age groups, but it is most common in older people.
The relationship between the ear function and balance is complex – the fist step is to make an appointment with Dr. Story so that an evaluation can be made and treatment discussed. For more information on Balance Disorders, visit our Balance Disorders page >>