Health Library

Our Health Library information does not replace the advice of a doctor. The health library is made available to assist our patients to learn more about their health.

Inner Ear

Inner ear

The inner ear is made up of the cochlea and the semicircular canals.

The cochlea is the main sensory organ of hearing. Sound vibrations from the middle ear make the fluid in the inner ear move. The fluid then bends tiny hair cells in the cochlea. When the hair cells move, impulses travel along the cochlear nerve to the brain. These nerve impulses are translated into sound in your brain.

The semicircular canals have special cells that detect motion and changes in position. Tiny calcium "stones" inside your semicircular canals help you keep your balance. When you move a certain way, such as when you stand up or turn your head, these stones move around. This helps your brain know which way your body is positioned.

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine

Current as ofMay 4, 2017

Current as of: May 4, 2017

Author: Healthwise Staff

Medical Review: Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine & E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Learn how we develop our content.

© 1995-2017 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.