Balancing act

Vestibular system and Vision

For most of us, vision is a term used to describe how clear things are – however, vision is much more profound in our lives as just the clarity of the images that we see. To maintain balance and navigate space in our physical world, we must organize and integrate information from 3 systems.

1.Visual (eyes)
2.Proprioceptive (information perceived through our muscles and joints to tell us where we are in space)
3.Vestibular (inner ears sensing motion, equilibrium and spatial awareness)

A deficiency in any of these three vitals systems can have a dramatic impact on the person’s ability to exist in their world. When we are young, movement guides vision. However, as soon as we develop the necessary visual skills, vision begins to guide movement.

Dizziness and disequilibrium are often the result of a vestibulo-ocular reflex dysfunction (a reflex which coordinates eye and head movement) and an unstable binocular (how well the eyes work together) system.
A disruption of balance, or just generally feeling off in our movements, is very common after a brain injury. This sensory disruption is similar to the situation where the sound and the picture on a TV are out of sync.

Fortunately, the human brain is able to continuously create new pathways and neurological connections throughout our lives. This is called neuroplasticity and allows us to develop the necessary control over different sensory systems.
Using the concept of neuroplasticity, disruptions of sensory systems can be synced back together. The proper source of the disruption must be identified first in order to receive proper treatment. Through proper evaluation and skilled vision therapy, we can improve visual deficiencies.

Our Deidre de Jongh is a Neuro Vision Optometrist and together with our Vision Therapy division, Eyemind, we can assist pasients who suffered from traumatic brain injuries and have vision and vestibular problems.  Phone us on 012 998 7592/3 to book your appointment.

Did you know?

Convergence insufficiency can go undetected during an eye exam or vision screening. Many children can pass an eye exam with 20/20 eyesight, but still see like the image below.

80% of classroom learning is related to functional vision. One in four children struggle with functional vision. So, if a child is having a hard time with reading, homework or even behavior, book an appointment with our children’s vision specialist – Carina Janzen.

Signs And Symptoms Of Vision-Related Learning Problems

 Frequent headaches or eye strain
 Blurring of distance or near vision, especially after reading
 Avoidance of close work or other visually demanding tasks
 Poor depth perception
 Turning of an eye up or down, in or out
 Tendency to cover or close an eye
 Dislike or avoidance of reading and close work.

Eye teaming and tracking, as well as perceptual issues can manifest as Dyslexia, such that words, letters and numbers appear to move or jump on a page. What often gets overlooked is that even with 20/20 vision (whether with corrective lenses or not), the problems with reversing symbols, words, and numbers can remain.

At our practice we can detect these functional vision problems with the RightEye system.  Phone us to book an appointment on 012 998 7592/3

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