The ear (inner, middle and outer) is responsible both for the sense of hearing and for equilibrium. The outer and middle ear transfers sound waves to the inner ear. The vestibulocochlear organ in the inner ear is involved with reception of sound as well as maintaining balance (equilibrium).
Therefore, conditions affecting the inner ear can present with symptoms related to hearing as well balance. However, most disorders involving the middle and outer ear may only impair hearing, although in severe cases, pain impulses may disrupt the sensory input from the vestibulocochlear organ.
Most ear problems will present with one or more of the following :
- Functional disturbances – hearing and/or balance