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star803 01-06-2004 11:36 PM

Vision and Dizziness
Since first getting this dizzy thing I have found out I have a few problems with my eyes. Firstly I have kerataconus where my cornea bulges, secondly my eyes don't work very well together. Supposedly they don't sit straight and prefer to be slightly inward and thirdly my quality of vision in the right eye is very bad while my left is practically 20/20 so there is a large disparity between them.

Anyways - here's my question.

Before I got dizzy my vision was perfect, never had any problems. Since this dizzy thing, my worst symptoms are mainly visual. I see things move and I have trouble focusing on things. Things look very distorted. Most of the time I am happier with my eyes closed. However, I do get sporadic vertigo which is worse with closed eyes and my imbalance is obviously worse.

Are these visual symptoms likely to be a result of the vestibular problem or the visual problem. Does anyone else have these types of visual symptoms??

hbep 01-07-2004 01:52 AM

Re: Vision and Dizziness
Hello Star,

If and when someone has vestibular damage, and has underlying visual problems, these things may effect you very little when well, but once dizzy become critical in terms of how well you compensate for the dizziness. Basically if the brain is trying to re learn how to communicate with a damaged balance nerve and it is also simultaneously struggling with bad eyes, you have given the brain twice the job to do. Also, when dizzy, the brain can become very dependent on the other things that help you balance - the eyes being a big one, as it attempts to keep you upright. If your eyes are off - particularly if there is a discrepancy btwn one eye and the other, then this can result in all sorts of weird vision (sort of a visual over load.) People who have 20/20 vision will also experience some visual problems with a dizzy disorder for the same reason, it's just they may be more severe if you have bad eyesight etc...

The key is to get your vision sorted out as much as possible - correct the discrepancy btwn the 2 eyes - do whatever can be done about the other problems, and ultimately, if your problem is vestibular nerve damage (labyrinthitis or vestibular neuritis) then this should help A LOT. Although a word of warning - on initially correcting your vision you may experience an increase in symptoms as you have given the brain new visual info to contend with. This is normal for everyone with a new prescription, but is especially hard for those with dizziness. It is worth it in the end though as ultimately it can help you get well. I had a discrepancy between one eye and the other prior to getting vestibular neuritis - my vision has been a big problem through all of this - but both my dizziness and vision were helped a lot by getting contact lenses.

Of course there are other reasons why visual problems might occur simultaneously with dizziness - people with migraine associated vertigo do sometimes experience a sort of permanent aura, where they have constant visual symptoms.

I'm editing this as I just read back to check your history and notice that a specialist told you they though it was your SCM muscle causing your dizziness. This throws up other possibilities - disurbance in the SCM can, I believe, cause visual problems, but also, I guess, if your neck is not helping you balance properly, then maybe the same applies and your eyes take over. Whatever, one way or another I'd sort out the visual problems as best you can. It seems you have nothing to lose and everything to gain. The specialists that know the most about eyes/dizzy stuff are neuro opthamologists.

Hope this helps,



sandoval 01-10-2004 10:23 AM

Re: Vision and Dizziness
hbep, That is interesting. Star, I have a lot of visual problems as well through this vestibular thing, and I've worn contacts for about 15 years. One thing I've noticed is that the majority (not all),but most of my spells (acute spinning) occur in the morning prior to having my contacts in. My vision is not terrible -- I am nearsighted with a prescription strength of 2.25 in one eye and 2.5 in the other and a slight astigmatism -- but, I wonder if in the uncorrected state, we are much more prone to problems with the dizzies??? Makes sense.

star803 01-11-2004 08:53 PM

Re: Vision and Dizziness
Hi Guys

Thanks for the response. I am looking in to another new prescription for my glasses to try and sort out my eyes.

What sort of visual problems to people experience with vest problems. I know that I hear visual disortion etc but I thought that was mainly caused by the nystagmus which supposedly I have none of. Very confused!!

Thanks anyways ....

Hpe you are all having a good one. I am going to have a third yes third ENG this afternoon. So much fun!!


sandoval 01-13-2004 05:34 PM

Re: Vision and Dizziness
Leigh, I actually get episodic vertical double vision with or without spinning. It's really quite scary. I see two of everything stacked one on top of the other -- and then everything just starts to spin and distort.

jtiegs 01-13-2004 05:43 PM

Re: Vision and Dizziness
HI Star,
I have the same type of discrepancy between my eyes you speak of. My left eye has been 20/20 most of my life, but now it's deteriorated (I assume with age, but I am only 34) and I need glasses for reading. My right eye is something like 20/400. I have lazy eye although it's not obvious from looking at me. Anyway, I have glasses that correct my right to 20/40 and the left if 20/20 again. I often wonder if my eye discrepancy contributes as well. I don't wear my glasses for distance things, only reading and up close stuff. So my brain has to deal with those changes all day long. But I am not comfortable wearing them when we are walking around or driving or whatever. I am farsighted, and feel like I am more comfortable when them for long range stuff. Oh, and I really don't use my right eye much, even with glasses. The muscles are too weak and it's too late to fix it. For example, I can't enjoy 3D movies very much with those colored glasses, and I can't see those Mind's Eye computer pictures at all. Minor annoyance, but affirms that I don't use that right eye.

It's an interesting idea and I think there must be something to it.


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