The vestibular system, a series of fluid-filled canals in the inner ear, is essential for maintaining our balance, posture, and the body's orientation in space. Disorders of this vital system will result in dizziness, lightheadedness, or vertigo.
Like many other systems in our body, the vestibular system doesn't function alone. Instead, it relies on the interaction with the visual system and the brain function to ensure good balance, regardless of our body's position and whether it is in motion or idle.
The visual system makes us aware of the position of our bodies in relation to our surroundings, and the vestibular system detects various motions such as walking, stopping, turning or head movements, sending a signal to the brain for interpretation.
The brain then alerts our eyes to move in a way that will maintain clear vision during the motion. The brain also signals our muscles to ensure good balance, regardless of whether we are sitting, standing, lying down or moving.
When the vestibular system is deficient, the balance and coordination will be affected, often necessitating a treatment called Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy. Specially-devised exercises will restore good balance and allow us to function normally.