The Vestibulocochlear Nerve VIII and Its Functions

Topic: Neurology
Words: 282 Pages: 1

Cranial nerve number VIII. The name of the cranial nerve is the Vestibulocochlear nerve.

This sensory nerve consists of two divisions: the cochlear and the vestibular roots that arise from the cochlear and vestibular nuclei located in the brainstem (Vasković, 2021). The vestibulocochlear nerve exits the skull via the temporal bone’s internal acoustic meatus (Vasković, 2021).

Every cranial nerve has its specific and significant function. Overall, the vestibulocochlear nerve VIII has two functional components and may be “functionally categorized as special somatic afferent” (Vasković, 2021, para. 4). The functions of the nerve hearing and movement, including maintaining eye movement, body balance, modification of muscle tone, and spatial orientation.

It is required that the clinical examination of the vestibulocochlear nerve VIII covers both its functions. First, the clinician should assess the cochlear function by whispering a simple word into one ear of the client while also producing a distracting noise in the contralateral one. The patient should repeat the word that was whispered, and then the examination is repeated with the other ear (Vasković, 2021). To assess the vestibular function, performing the Romberg test that examines balance is necessary. The essence of this test is to ask the patient to close their eyes and stand with their feet together. If they stand erect and maintain balance without swaying, there are no problems.

There may be specific impairment issues with the vestibulocochlear nerve VIII. They may be caused by the development of vestibular Schwannomas, which are noncancerous tumors. A lesion of a sensory reception organ can cause cochlear nerve damage and lead to endo cochlear or sensory deafness. If the vestibular nerve is damaged, it can lead to nystagmus, a balance disorder, or vertigo.


Vasković, J. (2021). Vestibulocochlear nerve. Kenhub. Web.

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