I came across a new article on the weekend that might explain what we're going through - called visual vertigo. This might explain things for Howie, Gloria and Swirlygirl too, although I think Howie and Gloria may be dealing with oscillopsia because of the blurred vision complaints and the cross-eyed feeling Gloria described.
Vision and vertigo
Some visual aspects of vestibular disorders
Adolfo M. Bronstein, J Neurol (2004) 251: 381–387.
I hadn't heard of Bronstein before but he has got an impressive amount of knowledge under his belt and I think is possibly the only researcher who's work I have read that understands the psychological component to this junk. It sounds like some of us are what is termed "visually dependent' or suffer from "oscillopsia".
A visually dependent person is someone who relies more on vision than on gravitoinertial (vestibulo-proprioceptive) cues for spatial orientation. Visually independent people do just the opposite. Visually dependent and independent people represent the two ends of a continuum in the normal population. An individual who has a vestibular disorder and is visually dependent, however, should be more likely to feel dizzy by excessive or disorienting visual stimuli than a visually independent person.
So, to summarise:
This review deals with two syndromes, oscillopsia and visual vertigo. Visual vertigo should not be confused with oscillopsia. It can be defined as dizziness provoked by visual environments with large size (full field) repetitive or moving visual patterns. Patients with visual vertigo report discomfort in supermarkets and when viewing movement of large visual objects, eg crowds, traffic, clouds or foliage, car-chase scenes in films. Symptoms are aggravated by looking at moving or repetitive images. In visual vertigo, the trigger is visual but the symptom is of a vestibular kind, ie dizziness,vertigo, disorientation and unsteadiness. The symptoms of visual vertigo develop after a vestibular insult. A typical patient is a previously asymptomatic person who suffers an acute peripheral disorder, eg. a vestibular neuritis, and that after an initial period of recovery of a few weeks, he/she discovers that the dizzy symptoms do not fully disappear.
Patients may also develop anxiety or frustration because symptoms do not go away (in spite of doctors telling them that they will!) or because medical practitioners tend to disregard, or are unfamiliar,with this syndrome.
The treatment of patients with the visual vertigo syndrome requires specific measures for the underlying vestibular disorder, eg Meniere’s disease, BPPV, migraine. In addition to treating the underlying condition, all patients should be offered general vestibular rehabilitation with a suitably trained audiologist or physiotherapist. These exercise-based programmes can be either generic, like the original Cawthorne-Cooksey approach or, preferably, customised to the patient’s needs. All regimes involve progressive eye, head and whole body movements (bending, turning) as well as walking exercises. The aim is to promote desensitisation and increase tolerance to stimuli.
Oscillopsia is the illusion of movement of the visual surroundings (oscillatory vision). Patients with oscillopsia describe their problem in many different ways, so doctors should scrutinise patients’ symptoms such as “blurred vision”, “difficulty in focusing”, “shimmering vision”, and the like, and ask directly if what they mean is that their vision is moving, oscillating, jumping or ‘wobbly’. A positive answer indicates oscillopsia.
So Tesss, I think we're likely at the stage where VRT is the best approach now. Second, it is very important to have any fear or anxiety you may have about this illness sorted out completely. As you'll see in the next post I'm putting up, "the patient who compensates well is someone, who at the psychological level, believes he/she can positively control his/her symptoms and that, at the visuo-motor level, can tolerate "slippage" of retinal images during head movements."
Let me know if it all makes sense. Think I've got a good handle on it now.
Thanks for that, its very interesting to read.
I do have trouble in some supermarkets and it does make sense, its good to see these things in print!! Its good to hear aswell for this that it is the vrt that is going to really make a difference, at least we know the right road to go.
As for your final paragraph, I did some guided meditation on a dvd today about health, as you say it is up to us to own/accept our illnesses and owning our recoveries. The meditation guides you with visualisations about changing the bad energy, it made me feel a lot more calm and rested. However I have been breathing badly at night and I don't know if its anxiety or an allergy (we have just changed bedrooms) but hopefully that will resolve now!
Scott and Tess: the description of visual vertigo describes me to the letter!!! My eyes have always seemed to be one of the main triggers for me. I am having a setback at the moment. I knew all of the extra working and buying a house would probably affect me. It is also very hot here right now, I got my period and I also caught a small cold! All of that combined has caused a bit of decomp. I am tired, woozy and keep getting weird sensations like I might be hit with vertigo any minute. You know that quick little feeling that you get? I drank some vitamin powder and I hope I can beat this fast!!! Hope you guys are well. Good to talk, as always!!
I was hoping that you were one of the lucky ones, you seemed to be recovering so well. Sorry to hear you are having a setback. But you sound positive, I am sure that you will back to feeling good very soon. I know those little quick feelings you are describing, I had them recently and they never actually developed into vertigo, but I did take a day off work to rest. Its very unsettling, especially as I am sure you thought that was past now. Hope you are feeling better soon.
Congratulations on buying the house, you must be so pleased. How long till you move in? Good to talk to you.
Tesss - cool to hear about the meditation making you feel better. Make a huge effort to watch but *not believe* the negative thoughts as they come and go throughout the day. If you label the thoughts as they come it also works well at killing them. Such as "that's a worry about the future thought" or "there I go again longing for the past". You'll be surprised how it can weaken them.
Something new I noticed: if I stay home in the morning and get straight onto the PC after breakfast the dizzies are hardly there. But if I ride to the university (7 km) and then sit in front of a screen, the vertigo and disorientation is bad. Looks like my brain is having trouble switching between the two environments. So for now, I'll do some work at home!
Dizzy2 - sorry to hear about the lousy symptoms again. Try and rest as much as possible and don't push yourself too hard. As you say, all of what you are going through is decomp. Should be gone in a day or two.
Thanks for the replys Scott and Tess! I have been pushing myslef really hard and even today, I still made myself go to the gym and workout. I just try to keep moving, but I feel lousy right now! I will rest more tomorrow! Tess, yes we are so excited about the new palce. We should move in early September!! It is scary to have a setback cause then you start remembering how you felt before and worry that it might get like that again. I hope not! I thought I was lucky too, too good to be true!! Thank god for this board and all of the great people! At least we know we are not alone! Thanks again!! Hope you guys are good and dizzy free!!
Once again I agree totally and a great read. I am really specific in my VRT now to involve mostly eye tracking excercises and visual excercises. I have improved as I feel 90% most days. I have been doing these excercise a month or so but have been doing other eye excercises for several months. I think I have a combo of the two you said. My vision does feel blurred and coming in and out of focus. Big areas and poor lighting also bothered me. Lately I been fine with everything. Meditation is a great tool. It helps relax you and release all the tension built up. MY CBT and I created my own 30 minute meditation tape which is customized to the negative thoughts I had.
I got back from my first visit to the neurotogist today. At least he confirmed I wasn't nuts. The rotary chair test showed that my eyes were moving faster than my brain/ears were compensating. Also he did confirm that the squashed and cross-eyed feeling I was feeling was probably so and that he has heard this symptom before.
Howie - I didn't think of this until you mentioned it but when you are in poor lighting does everything seem kind of shadowy? I keep feeling this but then realized that when it happens it seems to be when I am in places where the lighting isn't as bright. I also feel much better outside so I wonder if that is because of the brightness.
Last edited by gloria2936; 07-26-2005 at 12:31 PM.
Yes I just dont have as clear vision in Dark or big areas so you are correct. Much better since I started.... I feel better outside as well. Fresh air also can help with your anxiety besides the brightness
Gloria and all
Really good to hear that you saw a neurotologist today. It sounds like he knows what he's talking about and you must be pleased that he found something in one of the tests - so this sounds like it explains the visual problems. Im pleased to hear aswell that the cross eyed/squashy eyed is something that he has come accross before and its part of the same thing. I expected it but am pleased to have confirmation, so thank you for posting that. Im pleased to hear you have vrt exercises aswell, remember that a lot of people say it makes them feel worse initially but I really hope that it will improve things for you.
By the way I always feel better outside and never linked it to the brightness. I too have realised that I have trouble in big areas - our work canteen recently makes me feel bad - poor lighting and a big open room.
Best wishes and hope you are all feeling okay
Just a quick update. Many of you will not know that I have trouble driving due to the increased symptoms of dizzyness/eyes squashed/crossed etc. Well Ive just read a couple of papers that say that visual vertigo also affects driving! I am pleased because I fit so well with the visual vertigo symptoms, but now that I have found a reason that I find the driving difficult. So many of you are able to drive and its made me feel a bit of a freak that I can't. The papers also say that in some cases anxiety can be a cause of visual vertigo, Im not sure if I believe that anxiety can cause this but again its really confirming the links between these symptoms and anxiety, as we all know so well anyway.