“Why do I feel dizzy?” is the first question that most people ask when they are experiencing dizziness or imbalance. To understand your system, it is important to know that you have incredibly sophisticated, calibrated equipment inside your head, measuring where you are in space.
We have two vestibular organs inside each ear, each containing five different sections. Three semi-circular canals on each side, measure the movement of the head, as it rotates side to side; up and down; or tilting towards each shoulder. These organs relay nerve information to the vestibular and balance nuclei in the brain that are connected to our eyes. This ensures that our eyes move in equal but opposite directions to the head, keeping images stable while our heads are moving. In addition, two more structures, the saccule and utricle, provide feedback about acceleration vertically (such as when we rise from a chair) and horizontally (like when we run or drive in a car). The ears’ two organs work in tandem with each other to relay information not only to our eyes, but also to our neck and spine to keep the head and posture stable and upright.