How Our Balance System Works
Balance and equilibrium help us stay upright when standing and knowing where we are in relation to gravity. Our balance system also helps us walk, run, and move without falling. Balance is controlled through signals to the brain from your eyes, the inner ear, and the sensory systems of the body (such as the skin, muscles, and joints). This balance system is also known as the vestibular system. In the inner ear, the balance system consists of three semicircular canals that contain fluid and “sensors” that detect rotational movement of the head. The semicircular canals deal with different movement: up-and-down, side-to-side, and tilting from one side to the other. As the head moves, hair cells in the semicircular canals send nerve impulses to the brain by way of the acoustic nerve. The nerve impulses are processed in the brain to help us know where we are in space or if we are moving. It is important to see your doctor if you have unexplained dizziness or balance issues. If you have additional symptoms such as chest pains, numbness or tingling, falling or problems walking, weakness in the legs or arms, blurred vision, slurred speech, sudden hearing loss, severe neck stiffness, head trauma or injury, or high fever, go to your local emergency department immediately.
Submitted by: Hearing Specialist: Jana Kubisova If you’d like more information please contact us at
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