Vertigo And Dizziness

Don't Live Your Life Off Balance

Like so many elements that make up the brain's systems, your visual system and vestibular (balance) system are designed to work with each other and be in balance. We like to use an analogy from The Vestibular Disorders Association which consists of a photographer and a camera. Imagine your vestibular systems is a photographer that is responsible for holding a camera steady in order to take a picture that isn't blurry. In that example, the 'camera' is your visual system.

Now consider you purchase a very expensive camera and then try to take family photos while balancing on one foot on shaky ground. In the same sense, even if your visual system is working well, without a properly functioning vestibular system, you will likely experience issues with focusing, unsteady objects or double vision.

Vestibulo-Ocular Reflex (VOR)

Throughout the course of the day and normal activities, your head and eyes are continually moving, the vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR) is what keeps your perception of the world around you steady and stable. You can imagine that any disruptions in that system may lead to problems, but did you ever associate those with your vision? Here is an example of some common symptoms:

  • Dizziness

  • Vertigo

  • Anxiety

  • Difficulty concentrating

  • Motion sickness

  • Double vision

  • Headaches/migraines

  • Neck/Shoulder/Back pain

  • Unsteadiness while walking

  • Pain behind the eyes

  • Sensitivity to bright light

  • Difficulty with reading/comprehension

  • Constant head tilt to one side

  • Difficulty viewing 3D/action movies

Balance is achieved and maintained by a complex set of sensorimotor control systems. Image courtesy of The Vestibular Disorders Association

What Can My Optometrist Do?

It's entirely possible you've visited eye doctors for years who have never brought this up, most optometrists are only checking your vision for prescription and health. When booking your exam with a neuro-optometrist however, make sure to ask for a Binocular Vision Exam where your doctor will spend additional time assessing the alignment of your eyes through a variety of 3D tests.

​​​​​​​Your doctor will then analyze and interpret the results and prescribe the best course of action for you. Please give us a call if you'd like to schedule this exam, and yes, we can use your medical insurance!