If you get your eyes examined every year and stay up-to-date with the prescription for your contacts or eyeglasses, chances are you think your eyes are doing just fine. While they very well may be, having a standard eye exam performed once a year doesn’t tell you everything about the overall health and functionality of your eyes.
If you have a visual problem such as Binocular Vision Dysfunction (BVD), there’s a good likelihood the typical eye exam will not pinpoint it. BVD occurs as the result of a vision misalignment. Those with the condition can experience a variety of troubling symptoms, including becoming dizzy while driving, headaches and migraines, and anxiety in large, open buildings with tall ceilings. To help you understand exactly what having Binocular Vision Dysfunction entails, Vision Specialists of Michigan is here to break it down for you.
Balance is controlled by the vestibular system, the visual system and the proprioceptive system, and BVD is disruptive to the visual system. Trouble with balance causes a variety of symptoms to arise, including dizziness, lightheadedness, disorientation and trouble walking, nausea and motion sickness. These symptoms vary in duration and intensity, and are frequently triggered by the following:
- Standing up too quickly
- Nodding your head or shaking it side-to-side
- Riding in the passenger seat of a vehicle
- Driving around bends in the road
- Driving down the freeway with cars zipping past
Symptoms Affecting Sleep
When the images your eyes see are misaligned, the brain forces the eye muscles to work overtime to correct the issue. Unfortunately, even with your eyes closed, your eyes still see some imagery, as your eyelids only block part of the light. Not only will this result in all the symptoms of BVD, it can make it difficult for you to obtain restful sleep. Using a sleeping mask to ensure a complete absence of light is a solution to this problem.
Double Vision Symptoms
Blurred, shadowed or overlapping vision can also be early signs of double vision and BVD. Patients experiencing double vision symptoms often complain of extreme sensitivity to light and sensitivity to glare off reflective surfaces. They also tend to close or cover one eye to make it easier to focus on visual tasks.
Reading Problems & Learning Disabilities
Did you know that BVD may affect up to 50% of children that’ve been diagnosed with ADD/ADHD, as well as problems with reading and other learning difficulties? It’s for this reason that it’s so essential for children to be tested for BVD, as even the slightest misalignment can cause vision problems. Some of the specific ways fatigued eye muscles hinder reading and learning include the following:
- Words blur together when reading.
- You frequently skip lines or lose your place while reading.
- Words move or swim around on the page, or the letters shimmer or vibrate.
- Concentrating becomes more difficult.
Head, Shoulder & Neck Symptoms
Headaches and migraines are some of the most common symptoms of BVD, and can manifest in extreme pressure on the crown of the head, pulsing temples and a throbbing forehead. Frequent, persistent headaches like these are often experienced by people with BVD resulting from Post-Concussive Syndrome. Other symptoms that can occur in the area of the head, neck and shoulders include pain in the sinuses or jaw area, and neck and shoulder pain resulting from head tilt (a mechanism the body employs to try to correct the vision misalignment).
Our team here at Vision Specialists of Michigan has been diagnosing and treating binocular vision dysfunction for over 25 years, and there’s no better place to receive specialized treatment for BVD. To find out for sure if you or a loved one has this condition and learn about the micro-prism lenses we use to treat it, all you have to do is fill out our online questionnaire. This will help our doctors determine if BVD is the likely cause of your symptoms, after which you can schedule an appointment for a comprehensive NeuroVisual Evaluation by giving us a call at (248) 258-9000.