Binocular vision dysfunction (BVD) is one of the most common vision conditions, impacting about 10% of the population. But despite its prevalence, many people haven’t heard of it.
BVD results from an eye misalignment that makes it difficult for a person’s two eyes to work together as a team. Common symptoms of binocular vision dysfunction include eye strain, blurred or double vision, headaches, dizziness, motion sickness, sensitivity to light, anxiety and balance problems.
Below you’ll find some of the most commonly asked questions about BVD to give you a better understanding of what this condition is and how can help.
What Causes Binocular Vision Dysfunction?
BVD can be caused by:
- Facial asymmetry
- Facial nerve or eye muscle dysfunction
- Head trauma (concussion or other traumatic brain injury)
- Neurological conditions
Can BVD Come on Suddenly?
Binocular vision dysfunction causes each eye to send a different image to the brain. The eye muscles must then work extra hard to compensate for the misalignment, so over time the muscles become tired or strained and symptoms will set in.
These symptoms can arise at any time and may be suddenly triggered by certain environments or activities, such as working on a digital screen or doing schoolwork. Symptoms of BVD may come and go and fluctuate in severity.
How is Binocular Vision Dysfunction Diagnosed?
BVD is diagnosed and treated by a neuro-optometrist. The eye doctor will ask about your health history and symptoms. They will assess your ocular and visual health and, if necessary, conduct a neuro-visual evaluation. Prism lenses may be used during the diagnostic process and treatment. Many patients with BVD experience relief within the first 30 minutes of wearing the specialized prism lenses.
Why Is Binocular Vision Better Than Monocular?
Humans have 2 eyes for a reason: we need them both to work in unison to see the world clearly and comfortably in 3 dimensions (3D). Binocular vision is essential for depth perception and functioning in your daily life, regardless of how you spend your day. That’s why it’s crucial to treat dysfunction in binocular vision or any other visual skill.
Does Binocular Vision Dysfunction Affect Driving?
Yes, it can. Driving safely requires the effortless coordination of your 2 eyes and brain to see our environment in 3 dimensions. Deficits related to depth perception can make it difficult to gauge the distance between your car and the cars around you. Additionally, the abundant visual stimuli that a driver needs to process while behind the wheel can be overwhelming for a person with BVD. The condition can also cause dizziness and problems with balance.
Why Does BVD Cause Anxiety?
When your brain has difficulty managing the visual input, it sends panic signals that feel overwhelmingly similar to anxiety. That’s why a person who has been diagnosed with [generalized] anxiety, social anxiety or agoraphobia should have their eyes and visual health evaluated by a neuro-optometrist. The problem could be visual.
Can BVD be Cured?
While there is no cure for binocular vision dysfunction, it can be successfully managed to minimize or eliminate symptoms using micro-prism lenses and binocular vision training. These micro-prism lenses correct the misalignment by bending the incoming light beam so the brain can easily fuse the images from the 2 eyes. This relieves eye strain and other BVD symptoms.
Your neuro-optometrist will create a customized treatment plan to best suit your eyes and lifestyle.
Who Treats Binocular Vision Dysfunction?
Not every optometrist is qualified to test for, diagnose and treat BVD. Eye doctors who’ve been trained in neuro-optometry or binocular vision disorders are experienced in diagnosing BVD and establishing a custom treatment plan for you.
If you think you have BVD or if you suffer from any of the symptoms mentioned above, can help.
Binocular Vision Training and Treatment in Mascoutah
At , our neuro-optometric team has experience in testing, diagnosing and treating binocular vision dysfunction.
We proudly carry the latest diagnostic technology for accurate and efficient evaluations and stay up to date with the most effective treatments.
To learn more about BVD or to schedule your functional visual evaluation, call in Mascoutah today!
Our practice serves patients from Mascoutah, Belleville, O'Fallon, and Edwardsville, Illinois and surrounding communities.
Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. McDaniel
Q: Can BVD affect children?
A: Yes. In addition to experiencing the typical symptoms of BVD, children may also appear to be clumsy, have difficulty reading, may avoid doing schoolwork, may have behavioral problems, and have difficulty identifying shapes and numbers in an age-appropriate way. If you suspect that your child has BVD, call to schedule their functional visual evaluation.
Q: Why can BVD cause neck pain?
A: A common symptom of BVD is frequently tilting the head to correct the eye misalignment. Doing so puts a strain on the muscles in the neck and upper back, leading to back, shoulder and neck pain.