Why we get Dizzy

The vestibular sense at work about Dizzy

A general look at how the vestibular sense works and why we experience dizziness.

Why do you get dizzy when you spin? Why do you get car sick sometimes? The answer to both of these questions is because you have a vestibular sense (pronounced vest- ib – you- lure). It controls your sense of balance and movement. It is sometimes called the sixth sense. Like the other five senses (taste, touch, smell, sight, and hearing), the vestibular sense lets the body know where it is and how it is oriented. If you lay down it feels different than when you stand or sit. Your vestibular sense lets your brain know how your body is positioned.
             Without the vestibular sense your body wouldn’t be able to accurately move and keep a posture. You also wouldn’t be able to keep your eyes focused when you are bouncing, jumping, or running.
             The vestibular sense works because of some small parts that are in your inner ear. The semicircular canals in your ear detect when your head turns. They are filled with a fluid that moves around as you move. When the fluid moves around it sends messages to your brain telling it how you are moving your head. The otolith organs in your ear detect your body position. When you sit, crouch, or stand the otolith organs let your brain know.
             You get dizzy when you spin because your eyes are showing your brain the jumbled up picture of your surroundings as they whiz by while your vestibular sense is telling your brain that you are spinning. Even if you close your eyes you get dizzy because you are swirling around the fluid that senses your movement. The brain gets a little overloaded with all the information and makes you feel dizzy.
            If you get car sick it works pretty much the same way. Your body is sitting still inside a car, but your eyes and vestibular sense tell your brain that you are moving. If the brain gets overloaded with the input of this information you might start to feel car sick. The bumpier and curvier the ride, the more likely you are to get car sick.