Are You Experiencing Vestibular Dysfunction? It Can Be Treated!

While vision isn’t the only component of the body that enables us to maintain our balance, it does play an important role which if disrupted, can make life more difficult. Vestibular dysfunction, a disorder which can affect balance, can be impacted by damage to the vision system. Neuro optometric rehabilitation can provide effective treatment to help you.

Are You Experiencing Vestibular Dysfunction? It Can Be Treated! in Olympia

American Family Vision Clinic

What is Vestibular Dysfunction?

Vestibular dysfunction is an overarching term for balance disorders. Symptoms can include dizziness and vertigo, and it can make life more difficult, and more dangerous. The vestibular system itself is the link between the inner ears and brain that enables us to maintain balance. More recently, it has become understood that vision plays a role in the ability to balance as well. When something is out of order, that is vestibular dysfunction.

What Causes Vestibular Dysfunction?

There are several things which can lead to vestibular dysfunction, and depending on what caused it, treatment may vary.

Some causes include: 

  • Infections
  • Medicines
  • Calcium debris in the semicircular canals
  • Inner ear problems such as poor circulation
  • Problems in the brain, such as those caused by traumatic brain injuries

What are Symptoms of Vestibular Dysfunction?

Vestibular dysfunction can have a wide variety of symptoms. 

Common symptoms include:

  • Dizziness
  • Feeling off-balance
  • Stumbling or falling
  • Disorientation
  • Feeling as though the world is spinning
  • Blurry vision

Less common symptoms include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Anxiety
  • Fear
What are Symptoms of Vestibular Dysfunction?
How is Vestibular Dysfunction Diagnosed?

How is Vestibular Dysfunction Diagnosed?

Since there are many potential causes of vestibular dysfunction, you may need several types of examinations to determine what the cause of your problem is. Part of the path to a diagnosis may require ruling out some causes in order to determine just what is causing the issue.

You may be recommended for one or more of the following:

  • Blood tests
  • Functional vision exam
  • Hearing exam
  • Clinical balance tests
  • Head and brain imaging
  • Posturography (an examination of your posture and movement)

How is Vestibular Dysfunction Treated?

There are several treatment options for vestibular dysfunction, and the type best suited for you will vary depending on the specific cause of your disorder.

  • Lifestyle changes (such as changes in diet and activity) may be recommended.
  • Underlying causes, such as an ear infection, may sometimes be treated with antibiotics or antifungal medication.
  • Canalith repositioning maneuvers (specialized movements of the head and chest) are designed to reposition particles inside your semicircular canals so they will no longer trigger symptoms.
  • Surgery is better avoided if possible, but if other methods of treatment are ineffective, it may be necessary.
  • If your vestibular dysfunction is caused by a vision issue, neuro optometric rehabilitation or prism lenses can be an effective treatment.
How is Vestibular Dysfunction Diagnosed?

Neuro Optometric Rehabilitation Treatment for Vestibular Dysfunction

Vision is now understood to play an important role in our ability to balance. The vestibular system (the inner ear system which helps us balance) coordinates with the visual system through the brain to enable the eyes to properly fixate on a single location. This connection, called the vestibulo-ocular reflex, plays a major role in stabilizing the image we see when our head moves, thus helping us remain balanced. If this vision portion of this connection is disrupted, our ability to remain balanced diminishes.

As with many other vision problems, Neuro Optometric Rehabilitation is well equipped to treat this problem.

How is it Diagnosed?

Neuro optometrists specialize in understanding how vision issues impact other areas of our lives. To determine if a vision issue is the cause of your vestibular dysfunction, our neuro optometrist will perform a functional eye exam, which evaluates many areas of the visual system that standard eye exams do not.
Our office is equipped with advanced technology to further assess visual health and function, our neuro optometrist will assess for each patient what tests are needed. 

How Does Treatment Work?

Neuro optometric rehabilitation therapy helps patients retrain their eyes and brain to regain the lost functionality due to vestibular dysfunction. Various techniques and exercises are used to get the eyes to effectively work as a team and to see visual space in an accurate manner. Your treatment is highly personalized to suit your unique situation and needs.

Prism Lenses can also help correct some of the possible underlying causes of vestibular dysfunction.

What are Symptoms of Vestibular Dysfunction?
Dr. Zurcher cartoon


Vestibular dysfunction can be caused by a number of things, including vision issues. In those cases, neuro optometric rehabilitation is a very effective treatment method. If you are suffering from vestibular dysfunction, Book an Appointment for an evaluation with us. 

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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.

The staff is friendly. The Doc is very knowledgeable. The office is family friendly and everyone is so patient with the little ones.

Amy Fagerness
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