As we see more and more patients in our Vancouver optometry clinic with vertigo caused by eye disorders, we are reminded of an important study that was published on the topic over a decade ago by researchers from France.

Vertigo, instability, dizziness, or equilibrium disorders can be the result of eye related problems such as eye movement disorders, binocular vision disfunction, convergence insufficiency and strabismus – all of which respond well to vision therapy (neuro-ocular rehabilitation for the eye and the brain).

The study looked at 523 pediatric patients who had with vertigo or disequilibrium and where referred for vestibular testing in a hospital head and neck department. Of that group of patients, 27 children had normal vestibular and somatic neurologic examinations but they had eye and vision problems such as convergence insufficiency, strabismus with binocular vision and anisometropia . These ocular abnormalities were considered to be the cause of the vertigo and disequilibrium problems. In most of the patients, the vertigo-type symptoms completely resolved when the eye and vision problem was treated. No other additional tests, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), were required.

The study authors concluded that every child complaining of vertigo or dizziness but with normal clinical somatic neurologic and vestibular examinations should have a complete evaluation of their eye and vision health before more costly or harmful examinations are conducted. Patients should seek out a developmental optometrist like Dr. M.K. Randhawa or another member of the College of Optometrists in Vision Development.

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