Skip to main content

We are back to regular business hours and seeing all eye care patients. We are open M-F 9-5 & Sat 9-1.

We are offering free shipping with the purchase of a 1 year supply of contact lenses. Click here to order contact lenses.

Home »

Binocular Vision Dysfunction

Does Your Child Struggle With Reading?

Family Reading Books TogetherSome kids are bookworms while others struggle to read, no matter how hard they try. For kids whose eyes aren’t perfectly aligned, trying to focus on letters and track words can be an exercise in frustration. If your child often loses their place while reading or covers one eye to see better, they may have binocular vision dysfunction (BVD)

BVD often exists under the radar, whether at school or at home. In some cases, a teacher or pediatrician may mistakenly attribute a child’s behavioral and academic problems to learning disabilities or ADHD, when the source of these problems is eye misalignment or binocular vision dysfunction.

What Is a Binocular Vision Dysfunction (BVD)?

Binocular vision allows us to take nearly identical pieces of visual information from each eye and merge them into a single 3D image. When the two eyes aren’t properly aligned, your child may see double or the image may be blurred. The effort to turn the two distinct images into one clear 3D image often results in eyestrain, headaches, dizziness and difficulty reading. They may also suffer from motion sickness, poor coordination and concentration problems.

So if your child complains of any of these symptoms and avoids reading, the real source of the issue could be eye misalignment.

How Do You Know If Your Child Has Binocular Vision Dysfunction (BVD)?

The only way to know if your child has binocular vision dysfunction is through a comprehensive eye exam performed by an eye doctor experienced in diagnosing and treating BVD.

A neurovisual eye exam identifies any problems with eye alignment that may cause binocular vision dysfunction. If diagnosed with BVD, the eye doctor will prescribe special lenses that will train your child’s eyes into proper alignment, making reading easier.

Transform Your Child’s Vision and Help Them Enjoy Reading

We at have witnessed countless transformations in our young patients’ vision, reading and self-confidence thanks to a customized and highly effective binocular vision dysfunction treatment program.

If your child struggles with reading or writing, we will thoroughly assess their vision and help your child get the treatment they need. To get a proper diagnosis, schedule a neurovisual eye exam with at today.

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. McDaniel

Q: Can a Traumatic Brain Injury Cause BVD?

  • A: Yes. During a brain injury, the parts of the brain responsible for vision and balance can become damaged and impact the pathways between the eyes and the brain. In fact, more than 90% of TBIs result in some degree of visual dysfunction, including BVD. If you or a loved one has recently suffered a brain injury, make sure to get your vision and eye health assessed by a neuro-optometrist.

Q: What’s the Connection Between BVD and Nausea, Dizziness and Vertigo?

  • A: A wide range of symptoms have been associated with BVD that result from the stress placed on your eye muscles to attempt to bring your vision into perfect alignment. For instance, many people suffer from nausea, dizziness, and vertigo, but many don’t realize that these symptoms may be caused by a binocular vision problem. If you regularly experience motion sickness or struggle to walk properly due to problems with balance or dizziness, consider scheduling a BVD eye exam.

How Can You Tell If You Have BVD?

girl getting an eye examDo you often experience headaches, dizziness, or eye strain? While there are many causes for it, one of the most common reasons for it is an eye condition known as binocular vision dysfunction (BVD).

In those with healthy binocular vision, the eyes work in tandem and are perfectly in sync at all times, which allows them to send one clear, focused picture to the brain.

But when the eyes are not perfectly synchronized, as in the case of BVD, you struggle to see one clear image, which in turn leads to discomforts such as double vision, dizziness, and headaches.

If you have any of these symptoms, contact Mascoutah Eye Care in Mascoutah today to get your BVD eye exam and determine whether you have binocular vision dysfunction may be at the source of your uncomfortable symptoms.

What’s a BVD Eye Exam?

During a regular eye exam, your eye doctor performs a series of tests to measure your visual acuity, check for common eye disorders and assess your eye health.

Whereas a BVD exam specifically looks for visual misalignment — meaning, when a person’s two eyes point in different directions. Even the slightest misalignment can cause BVD.

Left untreated, patients with BVD tend to experience a gamut of symptoms, including headaches, dizziness, vertigo, eye pain, eye fatigue, eye strain, nausea and even reading challenges.

Do You Have Eye Pain, Fatigue & Strain?

Even slightly misaligned eyes lead the brain to tell the eye muscles to force the eyes back into the correct position. Eventually, the eyes will try to move out of alignment again (realignment), and the corrective cycle begins again. This vicious cycle of misalignment and realignment places a lot of stress on the muscles, causing pain, fatigued and strained eyes.

Headaches

One of the most common symptoms of BVD is frequent headaches and migraines. If you’ve been diagnosed with sinus headaches or chronic migraines and none of the conventional treatments have worked, a BVD eye exam can help you figure out whether this condition may be at the source of your discomfort.

Nausea, Dizziness & Vertigo

Many people who suffer from nausea, dizziness, and vertigo don’t realize that these symptoms could be caused by a binocular vision problem. If you experience motion sickness or have trouble walking due to poor balance or dizziness, consider scheduling a BVD exam.

Reading Difficulties

BVD can also cause blurred vision, making it difficult to concentrate or focus on words when reading or working on the computer. It’s not uncommon for those with binocular vision dysfunction to struggle at school and at work, which in turn, can affect confidence.

How We Can Help

Your BVD exam will reveal whether you have the condition and if so, your eye doctor will provide aligning micro-prism lenses to alleviate your symptoms. A complete neuro visual exam will also check for other binocular vision issues such as convergence insufficiency, vertical heterophoria, and superior oblique palsy. These conditions often require vision therapy as well as prism glasses to significantly reduce or even eliminate your symptoms.

Contact Mascoutah Eye Care to get to the root of your uncomfortable BVD-related symptoms and to get effective treatment so you can live your best life!

Our practice serves patients from Mascoutah, Belleville, O'Fallon, and Edwardsville, Illinois and surrounding communities.

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. McDaniel

Q: Is Binocular Vision Dysfunction Serious?

  • A: Binocular vision dysfunction is a serious condition that can interfere with your life. You may feel dizzy, disoriented, lightheaded and experience migraines. BVD patients may find it dangerous to drive, especially around curves. Sitting or standing suddenly can be difficult. Another problem with BVD is that it can be misdiagnosed at first. Once you are diagnosed properly, your eye doctor will give you treatments to manage BVD symptoms.

Q: How Is BVD Treated?

  • A: There are two main ways to treat BVD:
    – Prism lenses
    – Vision therapyPrism lenses change the way the light hits your eyes so your brain can [synthesize] the images from your eyes so you can see properly. Vision therapy corrects BVD through exercises to build visual skills and improve communication between the eyes and the brain.

Do I Have ADHD Or BVD?

girl waiting for the bus asks Do I Have ADHD Or BVDYou’ve almost certainly heard of ADHD, or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. But did you know that many symptoms of ADHD overlap with those of Binocular Vision Dysfunction (BVD)?

It’s estimated that up to 50% of patients who’ve been diagnosed with ADHD have a vision deficit that makes it more challenging for them to read and learn. Often, the culprit is an undiagnosed misalignment of the eyes.

Sometimes BVD occurs in tandem with ADHD, but other times it’s mistaken for it.

So, how do you know if you or your child has either condition? Although it can be tricky to tell, an optometrist who has experience diagnosing and treating BVD can easily determine this.

What are the Symptoms of ADHD?

In order to diagnose an adult with ADHD, they must present 5 or more of the following symptoms:

  • Often doesn’t seem to pay attention when directly spoken to
  • Has difficulty holding attention when completing tasks
  • Easily distracted
  • Often forgetful
  • Has difficulty with organization
  • Often fidgets with hands or feet
  • Feels restless or exhausts others with their excess energy
  • Talks excessively
  • Often interrupts others mid-conversation
  • Has difficulty waiting their turn

What Is BVD?

Binocular vision dysfunction is a misalignment of the eyes, either horizontally or vertically. This misalignment prevents the eyes from working together in a synchronized, healthy manner.

To compensate for the misalignment, the extraocular muscles work overtime to try and correct the problem, which often leads to eye strain, headaches,dizziness and double vision.

Other symptoms of BVD that many people with ADHD experience:

  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Frequent mood swings
  • Avoiding visually-demanding tasks that require extended attention
  • Poor reading comprehension
  • Poor reading skills or frequently losing one’s place mid-sentence
  • Anxiety

How We Can Treat Your BVD

If you experience any of the symptoms listed above, visit for a functional visual evaluation to rule out BVD as an underlying cause or contributor.

If binocular vision dysfunction is found, we can help.

The most effective way to treat BVD is with prism glasses that are made specifically for your individual condition. Patients often report immediate relief when first wearing the glasses.

Our practice serves patients from Mascoutah, Belleville, O'Fallon, and Edwardsville, Illinois and surrounding communities.

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. McDaniel

Q: How do prism glasses work?

  • A: Prism glasses contain micro-prisms that bend incoming light in a way that compensates for the eyes’ misalignment. They ensure that the light focuses on the same location on each retina, bypassing the eyes’ incorrect positioning.

Q: How long does it take to get used to wearing prism glasses?

  • A: Although some patients report instant relief, it can take others up to 2 or 3 days. Your optometrist will optimize the fit of your glasses to ensure the shortest adjustment period possible.

5 Frequently Asked Questions About BVD

5 Frequently Asked Questions About BVD 640×350The three most common symptoms associated with binocular vision dysfunction (BVD) are eye strain, headaches and dizziness. BVD can also cause pain in the neck and shoulders, difficulties with balance, coordination, reading and vision, as well as anxiety in crowded or large places, such as a shopping mall.

What is BVD?

Binocular vision dysfunction (BVD) is a condition where the two eyes are misaligned and therefore don’t have the same line of sight. This means the brain receives two different images, which it attempts to fuse into one clear 3D image. Trying to fix the misalignment puts the eye muscles under a great deal of stress.

How Do You Get BVD?

BVD can occur as a result of facial asymmetry (one eye is higher than the other), nerve or eye muscle abnormalities (a common issue many people are born with), stroke, brain injury, or another neurological disorder.

Can A Regular Eye Exam Detect BVD?

Usually not. While nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism and presbyopia (age-related farsightedness), can be diagnosed during a standard comprehensive eye exam, such exams often miss subtle binocular vision problems. That’s where a BVD evaluation comes in. Left undiagnosed, BVD can make it much more difficult for a child to learn in school, and for an adult to function in the workplace.

How is BVD Diagnosed?

A diagnostic evaluation for binocular vision dysfunction assesses a variety of visual skills that aren’t assessed during a routine eye exam. For example, your eye doctor will assess:

  • Eye Tracking
  • Stereopsis or 3D vision
  • Ocular motility
  • Visual perception
  • Depth perception
  • Visual processing
  • Spatial awareness
  • Visual-motor integration
  • Accommodation (focusing)
  • Convergence (eye teaming)

How Is Binocular Vision Dysfunction Treated?

BVD is treated with binocular vision therapy using customized micro-prism lenses, which bend light in such a way that the images viewed by the brain can be fused into one single comfortable image. The eye muscles will now no longer have to strain as a result, delivering relief from eye strain, headaches, dizziness, blurred vision and other symptoms.

Vision therapy strengthens the eye muscles so they can send similar images to the brain. This enables the brain to create a clear 3D image.

To find out more about BVD and to get treatment, contact . We will evaluate your vision and create the best treatment plan for you so you can live your best life.

serves patients from Mascoutah, Belleville, O'Fallon, and Edwardsville, Illinois and surrounding communities.

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. McDaniel

Q: Can BVD Make Driving Difficult?

  • A: Yes, many individuals with BVD have difficulties driving. This is because BVD may cause headaches, which affect concentration, and double vision. Balance, depth perception and equilibrium are also impacted.

Q: At what age can a person receive treatment for BVD?

  • A: Anyone can be treated for BVD as long as they are old enough to wear the prism glasses and communicate or demonstrate their symptoms to the doctor. The youngest patient known to have received treatment was 8 months old.

What’s Causing My Migraines?

What’s Causing My Migraines 640×350Chronic migraines are difficult to live with, especially when they get in the way of your productivity and enjoyment of life. But what many don’t know is that migraines can sometimes be linked to binocular vision dysfunction (BVD).

Below, we explore some common causes of migraines and how binocular vision dysfunction may play a role.

Migraines: Symptoms and Causes

A migraine is a neurological condition that can present with a host of symptoms, including:

  • Chronic and intense headaches, usually pulsing or throbbing
  • Light and sound sensitivity
  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Sweating or chills
  • Blurred vision or temporary vision loss
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite

The frequency and intensity of migraine symptoms vary from person to person, but the main symptom is usually intense pain in at least one part of the head. Some people have migraines with aura (sensory, motor and speech disturbances).

While the exact cause of migraines is unknown, there are several contributing factors. Some common causes and triggers of migraines include:

  • Genetic predisposition
  • An imbalance in brain chemistry
  • Sensory stimuli, like flashes of light or strong odors
  • Certain medications
  • Certain foods
  • Stress
  • Excessive caffeine or alcohol consumption
  • Hormonal fluctuations
  • Changes in sleep patterns
  • Dehydration
  • Binocular vision dysfunction

What Is Binocular Vision Dysfunction?

Binocular vision dysfunction (BVD) is a horizontal or vertical misalignment of the eyes. This misalignment makes it difficult or even impossible for the eyes to work together as a team. When each eye sends a slightly different image to the brain, the brain and eyes struggle to unite them into one clear, unified image.

People with BVD may experience a wide range of physical, visual or emotional symptoms. Because BVD shares many symptoms with other conditions, it is often overlooked or mistaken for other causes.

The migraines, neck pain, dizziness, nausea and anxiety that many people with BVD experience can make it harder to carry out daily tasks like driving, reading and concentrating in school or at work.

How Can BVD Cause Migraines?

To compensate for the eyes’ incorrect positioning, the muscles in and around the eyes overexert themselves in order to reposition the eyes. In other words, the pain arising from a BVD-related migraine is caused by strained eye muscles.

This is why adults or children who experience migraines on a regular or occasional basis should have their vision thoroughly evaluated to rule out BVD.

How is BVD Treated?

Patients diagnosed with BVD typically experience massive relief when wearing prism glasses. These specialized glasses contain microprisms in the lenses that refocus light in a way that bypasses the eye’s misalignment. In many cases, patients experience immediate relief upon first wearing prism glasses.

Whether you’re living with migraines or experiencing other visual symptoms, a functional vision evaluation can diagnose underlying visual dysfunction and lead to appropriate treatment.

To schedule a functional visual evaluation for yourself or a loved one, call today!

serves patients from Mascoutah, Belleville, O'Fallon, and Edwardsville, Illinois and surrounding communities.

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. McDaniel

Q: What other conditions can be mistaken for BVD?

  • A: BVD may cause or contribute to symptoms that mimic conditions like anxiety, agoraphobia, ADHD, reading and learning disabilities, spinal or neck misalignment, chronic fatigue syndrome, temporomandibular joint disorders and Meniere’s disease. If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with any of these conditions, visit your optometrist to rule out BVD.

Q: How common is BVD?

  • A: BVD is thought to affect 1-8% of the population, although more research is needed in the field. Because BVD may be confused with other conditions, it makes accurate diagnosing more difficult.

Is it a Learning Disability or is it BVD?

Is it a Learning Disability or is it BVD 640×350Parents and teachers have noticed that the number of children diagnosed with learning disabilities (LD) and behavioral problems seem to be growing. Many of these kids have trouble concentrating and struggle with reading and writing, to the point where they can become angry and easily frustrated.

While learning disabilities are a real concern, some children diagnosed with LDs actually have a binocular vision dysfunction (BVD), a condition that occurs when the eyes are misaligned. Being misdiagnosed means that they do not receive the treatment that would help them excel in school.

How BVD Symptoms Are Mistaken for Learning Disabilities

Binocular vision dysfunction has symptoms that are very similar to learning disabilities. Because of the substantial overlap between these two conditions, it’s difficult to distinguish between them without performing the appropriate tests for both learning disabilities and functional vision.

Teachers typically recommend that children who have problems reading and writing, or have trouble concentrating, get tested for learning disabilities and ADHD. It’s only due to lack of awareness that the teacher doesn’t refer them for a BVD evaluation.

Symptoms of Binocular Vision Dysfunction

Binocular Vision Dysfunction is the eyes’ inability to work together as a team due to the eyes’ physical misalignment.

When our eyes work in perfect harmony, the brain is able to integrate the two images sent by our eyes into a single, distinct image. When our eyes are even slightly misaligned, each eye sends the brain two slightly different images, which the brain has a hard time combining into a single clear image. This is known as BVD.

One common form of BVD is Vertical Heterophoria (VH). VH occurs when a subtle vertical eye misalignment is present. This means one eye is slightly higher than the other, causing the eye muscles to work hard to correct the misalignment. The muscles eventually become fatigued and overworked due to the constant eye strain. This vertical misalignment of the eyes can result in a variety of symptoms, including:

  • Blurred vision
  • Double vision
  • Irritability
  • Lightheadedness & dizziness
  • Migraines & headaches
  • Problems focusing
  • Reading difficulties
  • Vertigo
  • Anxiety

How to Treat BVD

The best way to treat BVD is by wearing aligning prismatic lenses. Neuro-optometrists prescribe these lenses to correct the eyes’ misalignment.

Aligning prismatic lenses modify incoming light before it reaches your eyes, allowing your brain to blend the images from both eyes into one image. Your brain is tricked by the prisms in the glasses into believing your eyes are perfectly aligned. This unified image minimizes BVD symptoms by preventing your eye muscles from straining to compensate for the misalignment.

Usually, patients find that their symptoms gradually subside or completely disappear once they begin wearing their prescribed prism lenses.

At , we care about your vision. If your child has been told they have a learning disability and you want to know whether BVD is at the root of their struggles, contact us to schedule an appointment today.

serves patients from Mascoutah, Belleville, O'Fallon, and Edwardsville, Illinois and surrounding communities.

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. McDaniel

Q: How does BVD affect reading?

  • A: Similar to ADHD or a learning disability, BVD can affect your reading. You may find your child rereading for comprehension or having difficulty concentrating, skipping lines or losing their place while reading. They may also find that the words run together while reading.

Q: How common is BVD in children with learning disabilities?

  • A: It’s estimated that up to 50% of children who have been diagnosed with dyslexia, ADD/ADHD and other conditions that impede learning and concentration may actually have BVD and not these conditions. In some cases, children have learning disabilities as well as BVD.