The acoustic nerve, also known as the vestibulocochlear nerve, is the 8th cranial nerve. It influences hearing, balance, and head position. It has two branches: the cochlear part that transmits sound reception for hearing by transporting sound waves through the eardrum to the middle ear and on to the small bones of the inner ear. The second branch, a vestibular section of the nerve, senses balance and head position by means of measuring the fluid balance of the inner ear canals that control balance and head position. Ear infections can change the fluid pressure of the inner ear canals and create balance problems.