Vestibular hyposensitivity

What is vestibular hyposensitivity

Vestibular hyposensitivity is when a person receives less information from their vestibular system. The vestibular system is a part of our body that helps us maintain balance and know where we are in space. It's responsible for telling you whether you're standing, sitting or moving. Balance, standing upright, feeling and understanding movements can be more difficult. Autistic people have hypersensitivities or hyposensitivities more often, but people without any particular developmental diagnosis can also have these conditions.

What is vestibular hyposensitivity?

Vestibular hyposensitivity is a decrease in sensitivity of the vestibular system. This system is located in the inner ear and is responsible for the sensation of movement and balance. A person with hyposensitivity may therefore have problems with balance, staying upright or perceiving certain movements.

Going further

The vestibular system is a part of the body that helps us to maintain balance, to know where we are in space and whether we are standing, sitting or moving.

It's located in the inner ear, and consists of three semicircular canals and a sac-like structure called the utricle and saccule. These canals and sacs are filled with a special liquid that moves when people move. When someone moves, jumps or spins, the fluid inside these canals and sacs also moves. The fluid's movements send signals to the brain, telling it that the body is in motion.

With this information, the brain can adjust balance and posture. For example, if a person tilts their head backwards, the fluid in the canals will move and send a signal to their brain, telling it to straighten your body to keep it in balance.

The vestibular system is therefore very important in helping us to remain stable and not fall when moving. It works closely with the eyes and muscles to enable walking, running, jumping and all kinds of movement.

Symptoms of vestibular hyposensitivity

Consequences of vestibular hyposensitivity

The consequences of vestibular hyposensitivity vary greatly from person to person, depending on age, skills, environment and tools available.

What measures should be taken in the event of vestibular hyposensitivity?

It is possible to train the vestibular system and thus improve the affected person’s comfort and functioning. Vestibular rehabilitation may be similar to that used for vestibular hypersensitivity, but the aim is to retrain the vestibular system to make it more sensitive and functional.

Sensory research

The brain may need to create sensations since it is not receiving enough. Vestibular sensory seeking can include spinning around, jumping on a trampoline, deliberately dizzying oneself or engaging in activities that stimulate the vestibular system, such as swings or merry-go-rounds.


In case of distress, or if the solutions put in place don't work, it's imperative to consult someone who specializes in sensory hypo-sensitivities.

Valérie Jessica Laporte