Symptoms of nausea, dizziness, and vertigo when related to vision tend to occur following traumatic brain injuries, including mild concussions.
The body maintains balance through the cooperation of three separate systems.
The vestibular system is primarily located in the inner ear, and provides the brain with information about motion, head position, and spatial orientation.
Proprioceptors located in the legs and feet give the body a stable platform along with information on movement and motion.
Lastly, the visual system, most relevant for us, provides information from the eyes to the brain, and it is in fact the dominant system when it comes to staying balanced and preventing dizziness.
An issue in the visual system can lead to conditions which cause balance-related symptoms. These include:
The most common reason is that vision issues may cause a misalignment in the eyes, which can cause blurry or double vision. This in turn leads to eye strain as the brain attempts to properly merge the two separate images from each eye. This extra strain may cause extra stress on the eye muscles, causing them to shake, which can make one feel light-headed or dizzy.
Eye misalignment can vary greatly in severity, and in cases where it is a minor misalignment it can be missed in routine eye exams while still causing one to feel dizzy or nauseous.
If you have recently suffered a traumatic brain injury, and especially if you are already experiencing symptoms such as dizziness or trouble balancing, you should seek treatment as soon as possible. The earlier treatment starts, the greater your odds at achieving the best possible results. However, even if treatment isn’t sought immediately, neuro-optometric rehabilitation therapy can still greatly improve your condition.
The best way to determine if you are suffering from a vision disorder which is causing your balance issues or dizziness is to have a functional eye exam, conducted by a neuro-optometrist. Far more comprehensive in what it examines when compared to a standard eye exam, this exam will both help our eye doctor determine what the root cause of your problem is and enable them to start formulating a treatment plan.
Following your functional eye exam, which will assess the status of your eye health and your visual skills, our doctor will formulate a personalized treatment plan for you, designed to correct the underlying problems causing your dizziness or balance issues rather than simply treating the symptoms.
Depending on the specifics of your condition, neuro-optometric rehabilitation therapy may be utilized on its own, though vestibular therapy may also be recommended alongside.
Neuro-optometric rehabilitation therapy is generally conducted in weekly therapy sessions, utilizing a variety of techniques and exercises designed to improve your visual skills to strengthen the brain-eye connection.
Oftentimes corrective lenses or prism lenses will be prescribed in addition to your therapy, which will allow for immediate improvements while therapy is being done.
The length of treatment varies on a case-by-case basis, depending on the specifics of your condition. What is constant, however, is the fact that improvements seen through this therapy are long lasting.