Otolithic Disorders

About Otolith

The Otolith organs are found in inner ear space, they are structured in saccule and utricle specifically in the vestibular labyrinth of all vertebrates. The utricle senses movements in the horizontal level, which may occur when walking forth or passing side by side.

This organ detects gravitoinertial energy working on the head giving signals to the brain which are essential for spatial adjustment, motion sensing and regulating motor behavior.

Otolith disorder may be assumed when a patient describes symptoms of false sensations of straight motion or slide or shows signs of specific disorders of ocular motor and postural, leading and balancing responses.

Yet, until recently, there was no means of measuring the damage to the otolith organs.

Subjective Visual Vertical (SVV) testing is an easy tool to detect otolithic dysfunction. Vestibular evoked myogenic potential (VEMP) testing is used to quantify otolithic input. The cervical (c-VEMP) and ocular (o-VEMP) have been used to test the function of the utricle and saccule.

Otolith disorders are treated by long term vestibular rehabilitation aimed at otolith stimulation.