What causes the feeling of vertigo?


What is the biological response in your body that causes the feeling of vertigo? Do other animals also feel vertigo?

In: Biology

Your body has an internal “balance” system composed of fluid in a sensitive location of your ear. When thats damages, or the receptor is or it’s leaking, it throws your bodies sense of balance off and makes you feel like your falling.

I’m sure there are far more reasons than this, but this is the one that makes me constantly feel like I’m falling

Our bodies have an extremely sensitive system for detecting gravity and maintaining balance. In our inner ears is a carefully calibrated system that relies on fluid pressure and tiny calcium crystals to gauge where our body is in our environment. The problem is, as with any very sensitive system, is that even a small change in that equilibrium can throw everything off. The most common causes for virtigo are an imbalance in inner ear fluid pressure (like from swelling from an ear or sinus infection) or one of those calcium crystals slipping deeper into the ear canal.

What’s really neat is that it seems like our sense of balance evolved the way it did because of the gravity on Earth. When astronauts are floating around in space, those little stones in their inner ears are just floating around in their little sacks, and aren’t being pulled down by gravity. This appears to be a key reason why people in microgravity feel a very strong sense of falling until their brains learn to adjust.