Did You Know That Vision Could be the Root Cause for Your Dizziness and Balance Issues?

In recent years, the important link between vision and our ability to balance has become better understood, and with that, we are better equipped to treat dizziness and other balance problems which are caused by a vision issue.

Did You Know That Vision Could be the Root Cause for Your Dizziness and Balance Issues? in Olympia

American Family Vision Clinic

The Link Between Vision and Balance

About twenty percent of the nerve fibers from the neural eye tracts (which connect the brain to the eyes) interact with the vestibular system (parts of the inner each which help control balance). So along with the various other causes of vestibular disorders which can negatively impact one’s ability to balance, damage to these important links between the eyes and the brain can cause dizziness or other balance problems.

You may have been told that closing your eyes while experiencing motion sickness or seasickness can help alleviate the symptoms. In other, more extreme cases of something impacting your bodily equilibrium, correcting the vision problem responsible can help.

 

Symptoms of Vestibular Disorders

Apart from the obvious dizziness, nausea, and trouble balancing that can come with vestibular disorders,other symptoms can include:

  • Vertigo
  • Spatial disorientation
  • Hearing abnormalities
  • Cognitive or psychological changes
  • Vision disturbances

Vision Issues Which Can Cause Vestibular Disorders

There are a number of common vision issues which can cause vestibular disorders and bring on symptoms of dizziness or trouble balancing.

  • Vertical Imbalance

Vertical imbalance is when the eyes are not properly synchronized, with one aiming higher than the other. In a natural attempt to compensate, people are likely to tilt their head to help align their eyes properly. This attempt to correct one problem can cause another, as it can destabilize the vestibular fluid in the inner ear, leading to dizziness and trouble balancing.

  • Binocular Vision Dysfunction

Binocular vision dysfunction is when the eyes are not properly working together as a team, and aren’t aiming together and accurately focusing on a single point. Injuries which disrupt this ability can cause issues with eye teaming and focusing, which in turn cause blurred and/or double vision, which themselves can easily cause dizziness and an inability to balance.

  • Aniseikonia

This is a vision condition where there is a significant discrepancy in how each eye perceives the size of images. It can cause eye strain, headaches, disorientation, dizziness, and balance disorders.

 

Symptoms of Vestibular Disorders
Diagnosis of Vision Issues Causing Dizziness or Balance Difficulty

Diagnosis of Vision Issues Causing Dizziness or Balance Difficulty

An eye misalignment which is causing your dizziness or balanced issues can be so slight that standard vision tests won’t detect anything wrong. For this reason, it is important to have a completed functional visual assessment in order to conclusively determine if a vision issue is at the root of your problem.

Treatment for Dizziness and Balance Problems Caused by a Vision Issue

The surest way to eliminate the symptoms caused by these issues is to treat the underlying cause. Neuro-optometric rehabilitative therapy, combined with balance or vestibular therapy, can be an effective treatment to reduce, if not outright terminate, these symptoms.

Additionally, specialized prescription lenses which can be prescribed by a Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation certified optometrist can provide relief.

Diagnosis of Vision Issues Causing Dizziness or Balance Difficulty

How Does Treatment Work?

Neuro-optometric rehabilitation therapy consists of a personalized program of regular therapy sessions designed to refine, improve, or develop vision skills which have been lost or which the patient never had full access to. The treatments improve the brain eye connection by improving your ability to visually perceive and process what is around you.

The functional eye exam you take prior to diagnosis and treatment will also tell our optometrist which visual skills the treatment needs to focus on, ensuring a targeted treatment of your specific problems.

Depending on your situation, vestibular therapy (therapy designed to relieve symptoms of dizziness and restore your ability to balance properly) may also be recommended in addition to the neuro-optometric rehabilitation therapy.

How Long Does Treatment Take

As with the treatment itself, this varies on a case-by-case basis. Some patients may require only a few weeks or treatment, while others may require treatment over a much longer period. However, in either case, the improvements seen during the course of the therapy tend to be long-lasting.

When Should I Seek Treatment

With this sort of problem, it is vital to get evaluated by our neuro-optometrist as soon as possible following the onset of symptoms, and, in the case of a traumatic brain injury, you should schedule an evaluation even if symptoms have yet to present themselves. The sooner you begin treatment, the better the chances of correcting the problems, and the less time it will take. This is because vision problems caused by traumatic brain injuries, if untreated, can worsen over time.

However, even if it is a long time after the injury, neuro-optometric rehabilitation therapy can still be a great help. If you are experiencing dizziness or balance problems, contact us to schedule a comprehensive evaluation.

 

Symptoms of Vestibular Disorders
Dr. Zurcher cartoon

Summary

While it might not seem obvious at first glance, dizziness and difficulty balancing may well be caused by a vision issue, due to the important link between vision and the body’s complex system that enables us to balance and function properly. Neuro-optometric rehabilitation therapy is well equipped to treat these problems, and you are likely to see better results if you seek treatment quickly. 

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Testimonials


  • Such a nice optician. My grandson is only 4 and needs glasses. We were so sad, but he explained the issues, and we will follow up as he suggested.


    Anna P.

  • I had such a good experience with the clinic. Very friendly staff and doctor, did not have to wait for long to be called, and was treated respectfully. Thanks, American Family.


    June S.

  • Dr. Zurcher has gone above and beyond what any other eye doctor has ever done to figure out what is going on with my eyes. Very happy with American Family Vision.


    Christine R.

  • Family Vision Clinic changed our lives! My daughter was frequently car sick, and she was getting headaches every day, often painful enough that they brought her to tears. We saw a string of doctors and therapists, but we made no progress. Finally, we found Dr. Levi Zurcher and his eye therapist Rain. After ten weeks of eye therapy my daughter no longer gets headaches, and she no longer gets car sick. Daily tears are a thing of the past. I really can’t say enough about this clinic. It was fascinating to watch Dr. Zurcher work. For the first time, someone who knew what they were doing was intently studying my daughter, really trying to figure out all of her eye issues, and his therapist Rain is one of the most patient and lovely people that I’ve ever had the good fortune to meet. We’re finished with eye therapy—yay!—and I have switched to American Family Vision Clinic for all of my family’s other eye health needs.


    Lars Wulff

  • Very professional, yet kind and helpful. They do what they can to make the appointment comfortable. I was running a bit late, I made sure ti call. They were able to switch me with a patient who was already there, they treated me with respect, and helped my son have confidence by getting him the eye care he needed that day. Thank you so much! Would recommend to anyone. It's a blessing that they care enough to work with people who have all different types of insurance from work to state coverage.


    Justin E.

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