Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Inflamed Inner Ear Anatomy

To better understand labyrinthitis, it helps to understand the anatomy of the inner ear.

The inner ear contains the semi-circular canals, which also contain fluid and hair cells. The hair cells in the semi-circular canals sense the position of the body and send this information to the brain. This structure allows the body to maintain balance and equilibrium.

Anatomy examples:

  • Pinna: the cartilage and skin of the external ear
  • Ear canal: passageway that leads to the eardrum
  • Tympanic membrane: the eardrum
  • Ossicles: three tiny bones that vibrate when sound waves strike the eardrum
  • Inner ear, or labyrinth: includes the cochlea and semi-circular canals
  • Cochlea: contains fluid and hair cells
  • Semi-circular canals: contains fluid and hair cells

Last Updated: Nov 4, 2008 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Inflamed Inner Ear References
  1. Halmagyi GM. Diagnosis and management of vertigo. Clin Med. 2005 Mar-Apr;5(2):159-65. [15847010]
  2. Hyden D. Mumps labyrinthitis, endolymphatic hydrops and sudden deafness in succession in the same ear. ORL J Otorhinolaryngol Relat Spec. 1996 Nov-Dec;58(6):338-42. [8958544]
  3. Lemajic-Komazec S, Komazec Z. Initial evaluation of vertigo. Med Pregl. 2006 Nov-Dec;59(11-12):585-90. [17633903]
  4. Stokroos RJ, Albers FW, Tenvergert EM. Antiviral treatment of idiopathic sudden sensorineural hearing loss: a prospective, randomized, double-blind clinical trial. Acta Otolaryngol. 1998 Jul;118(4):488-95. [9726671]
  5. Swartz R, Longwell P. Treatment of vertigo. Am Fam Physician. 2005 Mar 15;71(6):1115-22. [15791890]
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