Vertigo / Balance (Vision & Vestibular)

Man holding head with disorientating backgroundYour sense of balance arises from the interaction between the visual system, inner ear function and head position. A disruption in any of these systems can cause a person to experience balance, dizziness and/or vertigo problems. A physical therapist or ENT can often help, but problems with the visual system can cause persistent symptoms. At our office, Dr. Carter diagnoses and treats visual-vestibular conditions.

Signs of a visual-vestibular problem

Dizziness or discomfort with eye movement, poor coordination of eye movement, or a visual-midline shift, meaning a patient’s awareness of “center” is off-center.

Symptoms of a visual-vestibular problem

  • Vertigo
  • Car sickness or motion sickness
  • Balance problems: leaning, falling over, or running into objects on one side
  • Gait problems: toe walking, or favoring one side when walking
  • General discomfort moving through space
  • Dizziness
  • Swimming sensation with eye movement

Treatment for visual-vestibular problems

Special glasses with prisms may be prescribed to re-balance the visual system. For many patients, these specialized lenses can provide profound relief and improvement in their symptoms.

Vision therapy may be recommended if the patient experiences additional symptoms. In therapy, the patient will work on eye movement control and eye-teaming in dynamic, real-life conditions.