We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is the Eighth Cranial Nerve?

By Dulce Corazon
Updated Mar 03, 2024
Our promise to you
TheHealthBoard is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At TheHealthBoard, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Nerves in the brain are called cranial nerves. There are 12 pairs of them, each having specific sensory or motor functions. One of these nerves is the vestivulocochlear nerve, also known as the eighth cranial nerve. It is composed of two sensory branches, the vestibular nerve and the cochlear or auditory nerve. Hearing is the function of the cochlear nerve, while body position sense comes from the vestibular nerve.

The eighth cranial nerve arises from the brain stem, which is connected with the spinal cord and is located at the base of the skull. It travels from the inner part of the ear towards the brain. In the inner ear are receptor cells that receive vibrations of sound and noise from the outside, which then stimulate the cochlear nerve to send these sounds to the brain for interpretation. Head movements also affect the fluid inside the ear and stimulate the vestibular nerve to send information to the brain regarding the body's sense of balance or position.

Injury or damage to either branch of the eighth cranial nerve often results in several symptoms. When the cochlear nerve is affected, manifestations include tinnitus or ear ringing, poor hearing ability, and deafness. Hearing loss is usually due to noise exposure, otitis media, or the inflammation of the middle part of the ear, ear wax impaction or blockage, and presbycusis. Presbycusis is a term referring to the hearing loss brought about by old age. Some infants may also be born with defects in the cochlear nerve and become deaf for life.

When the vestibular branch of the eighth cranial nerve is affected by injury or disease, symptoms usually include dizziness, nausea, ataxia, vomiting, and nystagmus. Ataxia means instability or unsteadiness when doing voluntary movements. Nystagmus denotes abnormal and involuntary rapid eye movements. Affected patients also present with vertigo, or the false sensation that the environment is spinning. Causes frequently include tumors, degenerative diseases, vestibular neuritis, and intoxication from medications or alcohol.

Diagnosis of injuries to this nerve is often done by a neurologist, a doctor who treats diseases of the nervous system. He usually takes the patient's medical and family history, and then performs special tests to evaluate the functions of the eighth cranial nerve. Other diagnostic tools that may also be helpful include the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography (CT) scan. Treatment often depends on the cause of the patient's symptoms.

TheHealthBoard is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

By Monika — On Jul 12, 2011

@SZapper - Glad things worked out all right for your friend.

When I was growing up my friends dad suffered from tinnitus. I remember at the time she told me thinking how horrible it must to be have ringing in your ears all the time. When I found out you can get it from damaging your ears with loud noise I made it a point to protect my ears from that day forward!

By SZapper — On Jul 11, 2011

A former coworker of mine suffered damage to her eighth cranial nerve. She ended up with terrible vertigo that comes on with no warning!

Once she actually got vertigo at work and ended up having to prove to our managers she wasn't on drugs before being allowed to come back! Since we were working in a bar I suppose I can see why they thought that, but at the time I thought it was totally heartless of them! But after she brought in her doctors note she was allowed to continue working, so no harm done I guess.

TheHealthBoard, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

TheHealthBoard, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.