To understand the methods used in the diagnosis and treatment of BPPV, there are several anatomical models designed for this purpose, both for free and for purchase. We have collected a gallery of models created by individuals to show you the variety of ways people have used to explain the vestibular anatomy. The basic features required to properly teach the mechanics of the otoconia during BPPV repositioning techniques are:
This page is being updated when new models become available. Please reach out to us to include any additional models you find. Here's the main ways models are being made today--with some excellent free offerings too if you like DIY projects.
There are several companies that sell vestibular-specific models for teaching BPPV. They vary in size and price, but they are designed for clinicians to use during patient sessions to increase understanding and accelerate patient education during BPPV maneuvers.
US-based company producing several 3D models to teach BPPV as well as infrared video goggles. Their website is: https://vestibularfirst.com/. One of the authors of this page is a co-founder of Vestibular First (Patrick E ).
Their main model is called the Fluid Apparatus. Anatomically, it uses plastic tubes rather than actual 3D data such as, for example, MRI of the inner ear. The model has colored stones to represent the otoconia and they fall slowly through an oil-based liquid. The model also has a cutaways in the ampulla where the stones get "caught" on the cupulas. This particular model doesn't have doesn't have way to know that it is aligned properly, with respect to a human head, unlike others decribed above and below..
Vestibular First also has a headband model for teaching how the otoconia move during repositioning techniques. There are two smaller fluid models attached via a ball joing on the head to an adjustable headband which attaches to the participants head. The models have circular bubble levels as well as positional arrows to make sure it is oriented to the head correctly.
Vestibular First is also working with Dr. Michael Teixido to produce versions of a 3D model he created with one of the highest resolution scans to date. His model specifically focuses on the membranous labyrinth of the vestibular apparatus. These are prototypes of the models they are planning to produce, although nothing is confirmed as of the date of this post.
Vestibular today is a US-based company run by a clinician, Danielle Tate, PT, DPT who also runs clinician and patient education programs, vestibular podcast, and has coined the phrase "vestibuloholic", simply meaning someone who just really loves the vestibular system! You can find them at https://www.vestibular.today/. Note that Vestibular Today and Vestibular First work together, and that a coauthor of this page (Patrick) is a co-owner of vestibular first. Dr. Hain is not connected with vestibular first.
Vestibular Today's flagship model, called the "Functional Inner Ear", was designed to show with rings how the otoconia fall during repositioning maneuvers. The ring can be moved to any canal with a snap mechanism. The 4" model is labeled with the first letter of each canal, with the cupulas marked with stars. The model is placed on a base for correct spatial orientation on a desk. As a comment, this model seems to be a little smaller in scale than the models above. Without a reference though, it is hard to be sure.
Vestibular Today also offers a life-sized model of the inner ear cast in metal. The inner ear is pretty small in real life, as shown below.
Vestibular First -Multiple models are posted for free to print and construct with detailed instructions and shopping list Fluid Model, Solid Model, Ball Maze on Thingiverse
These models were found through Internet searches, but we were unable to contact the original creators. If you have any connection to these creators, please let us know and we'll update this page with their information.
This is a "cap" that has a partial model of the inner ear attached. It is not actually an educational device, but rather is intended for patient use during BPPV treatments. It is sold for $150.