BROOMALL, PA — Vestibular First LLC, in partnership with Vestibular Today, announced a new line of vestibular anatomy models to help clinicians, students and patients better understand the vestibular system, the complex sensory apparatus of the inner ear responsible for maintaining balance, posture and the body’s spatial orientation.
The 3D-printed models are anatomically accurate to ensure appropriate alignment of the semicircular canals, whose job is to give the brain information about head rotation and tilt. The models also include the cochlea, a snail-shaped hearing structure located very close to the vestibular apparatus.
“The vestibular apparatus is about half the size of a dime but has a very big job of helping us keep our balance,” said Vestibular First Co-Founder Patrick Esmonde, MSE. “Unfortunately, patients with dizziness, vertigo or imbalance, as well as the clinicians who care for them, often don’t have a clear way of visualizing vestibular anatomy.”
Many clinicians and students have had to rely on rough models like pipe cleaners with attached beads to simulate the maze-like structure of the inner ear’s semicircular canals and fluid-filled ducts, Esmonde said.
Vestibular First’s 4-inch functional teacher-friendly inner ear wearable model has a removable ring that represents otoconia, or inner ear crystals. When those crystals move into the semicircular canal, it results in benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, or BPPV, a false sensation of spinning or movement. BPPV is the most common cause of vertigo.
“Because the ring on the model can be moved to the representative affected canal, it clearly demonstrates how repositioning maneuvers work to clear the crystals and relieve a patient’s positional vertigo,” Esmonde said.
The company’s true-to-life-size inner ear model is printed to scale. The models are available in 18K gold, sterling silver and rose gold.
“Because we use precious metals, it highlights the beauty of this small but mighty system, perfectly showing just how tiny and sophisticated the inner ear truly is,” Esmonde said.
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