Vestibular & Vision
Do you know what the Vestibular Ocular Reflex is (VOR)? Simply put, it's the connection between the vestibular system and the visual system! The Vestibular Ocular Reflex is defined as: is the ability to maintain fixation on a stationary object while head is moving without loss of visual focus.
When you move through space, your brain knows that your body is moving even if your eyes do not. The VOR helps keep you balanced.
Visual Vertigo is a condition where a person suffers from symptoms such as blurred vision and difficulty balancing while walking and where the world is spinning, but they're not moving! The orientation and sense of balance are thrown off because this condition affects the proper functioning of the vestibular system in how it affects vision.
The vestibular system integrates with vision and other sensory systems including proprioception. The vestibular system is essentially a system that uses information from your eyes, muscles, and inner ear in order to maintain stable vision and balance.
There are two main vestibular systems; the central which includes the brain and brainstem, and the peripheral which consists of the inner ear and pathways to the brainstem.
Sometimes it's hard to distinguish between dizziness and vertigo because they can be similar but there are differences!
Is it Dizziness or Vertigo?
- Dizziness is a sensation of lightheadedness, feelings of faintness and/or unsteadiness.
- Vertigo is a rotating, spinning feeling, where there is the perception of movement, either of the body or surrounding objects.
What causes visual vertigo? Visual problems can cause visual vertigo as does reduced sensory information from the body. Not knowing where you are in space can cause a skewed perception of your visual surroundings, increasing risk of falls.
Here are two reasons as to why visual vertigo and motion sensitivity occur:
- Motion sensitivity and visual vertigo are because of a conflict/mismatch between the visual, vestibular and sensory systems. Experts say that there may be a possible deviation between what the patient expects to see and feel versus the external information that they are actually receiving.
- The combination of a vestibular disorder and untreated visual dysfunctions are what cause visual vertigo. There can be additional causes.
Simply put, there is a mismatch of information between the visual and balance system! It is crucial that if you experience blurred or double vision, motion sickness, or balance problems, that you get a proper neuro-visual exam. There are things that we can do to help.
Call our office today to book your exam 905-319-1066.