Skip to main content
Refer A Patient
Book Appointment

Vision Related Motion Sickness

Home » Eye Care Services » Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation » Vision-Related Motion Sickness

Vision-Related Motion Sickness

Motion sickness refers to that woozy sensation one gets when traveling by car, boat, plane, on roller coasters and ferris wheels. Motion sickness and visual vertigo (dizziness and unsteadiness brought on by visual triggers) can produce similar symptoms, and are sometimes mistaken for one another. Both conditions can be due to issues in your visual system, so if you find yourself becoming disoriented, dizzy, or nauseous, it may be time to visit a neuro-optometrist.

Those who suffer from motion sickness often find it difficult or impossible to drive, play sports, go on amusement park rides, or be in an environment with fast or moderate motion. Engaging in these activities or being in visually-busy settings can produce uncomfortable — even debilitating — symptoms.

Fortunately, a neuro-optometrist can offer help. If you or a loved one is experiencing symptoms of motion sickness, contact Neuro-Optometry Center at Clarity Optometry to schedule a functional visual evaluation.

Exhausted tired woman with closed eyes touching head

What is Motion Sickness?

Motion sickness occurs when the body’s motion receptors send conflicting messages to the brain. For instance, some people experience nausea or other uncomfortable symptoms when reading from a book (or screen) while riding in a moving vehicle. This is because the eyes are focused on a still object — the words on a page — while the motion receptors in the inner ear sense motion. These conflicting messages are what contribute to the feeling of motion sickness.

How Can Vision Cause Motion Sickness Symptoms?

The visual input that comes from the eyes helps the brain understand where you are in relation to your surroundings. Other sensory information about the body’s position and stability come from receptors in the inner ear (vestibular sensors) as well as receptors in the legs and feet that inform the brain about any body movements and where they are located in relation to the rest of the body. The visual system, along with the other sensory receptors, all work together to keep you feeling balanced and stable.

Someone with visual dysfunction may experience motion sickness due to the inaccurate visual information being processed by the brain. This mismatch of visual input with vestibular cues causes you to experience vision-related motion sickness.

One visual condition that commonly causes motion sickness symptoms is binocular vision disorder (BVD). In BVD, the eyes are misaligned and each eye sends a separate image to the brain. To compensate for the conflicting visual messages, the brain works very hard to create a unified image and sometimes forces the eyes into correct alignment. This process can cause several symptoms, including those of motion sickness.

Symptoms of Vision-Related Motion Sickness

It’s common to experience any of the following symptoms of vision-relation motion sickness:

  • Upset stomach
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Disorientation
  • Trouble maintaining balance

How Our Doctors Treat Vision-Related Motion Sickness

At Neuro-Optometry Center at Clarity Optometry, we treat the problem at its source — the brain and its connection to the visual system. Neuro-optometric rehabilitation therapy is a process by which the brain is “rewired” to work in unison with the eyes. This method is highly effective in treating motion sickness if the problem is a dysfunction in the visual system.

At the initial consultation, Dr. Garzon will thoroughly evaluate your eyes and various visual skills to determine whether your visual system is contributing to your motion sickness. If a problem with visual function or processing is detected, Dr. Garzon may prescribe neuro-optometric rehabilitation therapy.

Neuro-optometric rehabilitation therapy is a highly personalized program of exercises that develop communication between the brain and the eyes. The program may also use several therapeutic tools, such as specialized lenses and prisms, to aid in the developmental process. Some practices offer only prism lenses as a treatment for motion sickness or visual vertigo. While this can lessen symptoms in the short term, prism lenses alone don’t offer lasting relief since the condition itself isn’t corrected. Neuro-optometric rehabilitation is unique in that it can actually reverse the cause of the condition, offering long-lasting relief.

If you or a loved one suffers from motion sickness, speak with Dr. Garzon about how we can help.

Our practice serves patients from Hamilton, Ancaster, The Greater Hamiton Area, and , Ontario and surrounding communities.

References

Request A Functional Visual Exam
Find Out How We Can Help You! 905-692-EYES
Learn More About Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation
The Research And Evidence Behind Neuro Optometric Rehabilitation Therapy Thumbnail.jpg

The Research And Evidence Behind Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation Therapy

TBI Rehabilitation Thumbnail.jpg

Traumatic Brain Injury Rehabilitation

thumbnail woman wearing blue top beside table 1181712.jpg

Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation — FAQs

photo of head bust print artwork thumbnail.jpg

Neuro-Optometry Blog

Conditions That Are Treated With Neuro Optometric Rehabilitation Thumbnail.jpg

Conditions That Are Treated With Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation

Read Our Latest Posts
Whats an Ocular Migraine 640×350 1.jpg

What’s an Ocular Migraine?

5 Ways a Stroke Can Impact Vision 640×350 1.jpg

4 Ways a Stroke Can Impact Vision

Can a Brain Injury Affect Visio 640×350 1.jpg

Can a Brain Injury Affect Vision?

Have You Experienced Blurry Vision After Hitting Your Head 640×350 1.jpg

Can Hitting Your Head Cause Blurred Vision?