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A Beginner’s Guide To Balance & The Inner Ear

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ear2The ear is a relatively small organ, hidden on the side of your head, and rarely discussed in regular conversations about health. When you talk about the ear, it’s usually in reference to its outer structures, like the lobe where you pin earrings or the canal where you dig for wax. That’s because most people think the ear is only useful for decoration and hearing when, in fact, the ear is integral to our overall balance.

Without the ear’s anatomical responsibility, we would struggle to walk, see, or live with the ease that we do. People suffering from vertigo are well aware this. Because of abnormalities in their inner ears, vertigo sufferers experience constant balance issues, including dizziness and spinning effects that make it hard to move around normally.

Inner Ear Anatomy – The Basics

Once you go through the outer ear canal, you reach the middle ear where three small bones, called the ossicles, are located. You’ve probably heard about these because they’re the three smallest bones in the body and they convert sound waves into vibrations that help you hear. Move beyond these and you quickly reach the inner ear, tucked inside and protected by the skull’s temporal bone.

The inner ear is mainly a huge network of fluid-filled tubes. Some of them, namely the cochlea, are responsible for hearing. Other sections, namely the semi-circular canals and the vestibule, are responsible for balance and equilibrium. Like all things in the body, these tubes connect and communicate with other organs via nerves.

How Balance Works – The Basics

Balance is the body’s sense in relation to gravity. In normal functioning ears, fluid in the tubes moves in relation to our movements and the force of gravity. The way the fluid flows triggers hair cells lining the tubes. The hair cells send information through the nerves to the brain. The brain then tells the body about the specific movement and the body reacts to it, keeping it in line with your movements and gravity.

If there is any disturbance in this system, either in the inner ear organs or in the nerve pathways, this can lead to balance problems. For example, a viral infection can inflame the vestibular nerve or calcium carbonate crystals can break off in the vestibule and affect signals. What happens next is that the brain does not receive proper signals and therefore cannot adjust sight and posture properly. With vision and body movements not aligned with gravity, dizziness and spinning occur.

This is just a high level overview of the inner ear anatomy and balance system, but it should give you a basic understanding of how it all works. For people suffering from vertigo, it’s always reassuring to help others know the causes behind their uncomfortable episodes.

There are many different ways to treat vertigo symptoms. For a natural herbal remedy, try DiVertigo. You place a single drop (or two) on the head behind each ear as soon as the dizziness starts and relief comes in just 3-5 minutes. You can buy DiVertigo online at www.di-vertigo.com or in retailers nationwide.

 

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