Dizziness and Visual-Vestibular Dysfunction

Dizziness and Visual-Vestibular Dysfunction

Dizziness and Visual-Vestibular Dysfunction

Dizziness and Visual-Vestibular Dysfunction

Dizziness and Visual-Vestibular Dysfunction

Dizziness and Visual-Vestibular Dysfunction

Vision can have a big impact on dizziness and balance disorders. The visual system and vestibular system are linked together by something called the vestibular-ocular reflex. Any problem with how efficiently the eyes take in information can affect how these systems work together. Symptoms of visual-vestibular dysfunction include:

  • Dizziness

  • Motion sensitivity

  • Anxiety while driving

  • Not feeling grounded

  • Difficulty tolerating busy visual environments

  • Poor eye tracking

In some patients with vestibular disorders, secondary visual dependence develops, meaning the brain chooses to weight visual information more heavily, making the patient more visually sensitive. If any problem with how the eyes work together or the brain processes visual information exists, it worsens the problem. Many patients with visual-vestibular systems have a form of binocular vision dysfunction- most often vertical heterophoria or convergence insufficiency. Treatment of visual-vestibular problems may include:

  • Prism glasses to aid eye alignment

  • Yoked prisms re-establish spatial awareness

  • Tinted lenses to improve light and motion sensitivity

  • Optometric vision therapy to treat binocular vision dysfunction and improve visual-vestibular integration.

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