The vestibular system includes the parts of the inner ear and brain that process the sensory information involved with controlling balance and eye movements. If disease or injury damages these processing areas, vestibular disorders can result. Vestibular disorders can also result from, or be worsened by, genetic or environmental conditions or occur for unknown reasons.
The most commonly diagnosed vestibular disorders include:
- Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV)
- Labyrinthitis or Vestibular Neuritis
- Ménière’s Disease
- Secondary Endolymphatic Hydrops
- Perilymph Fistula
- Superior Canal Dehiscence
- Acoustic Neuroma
- Enlarged Vestibular Aqueduct
- Mal de Débarquement
- Migraine Associated Vertigo
- Autoimmune Disorders
Because of difficulties posed by accurately diagnosing and reporting vestibular disorders, statistics estimating how common they are, how often they occur, and what social impacts they have range widely. Yet even the lowest estimates reflect the fact that vestibular disorders occur frequently and can affect people of any age.
One recent large epidemiological study estimates that as many as 35% adults aged 40 years or older in the United States—approximately 69 million Americans—have experienced some form of vestibular dysfunction.