Can Vision Therapy and Neuro Optometry Help with Motion Sickness?

Published on
March 8, 2023

Motion sickness can be debilitating and affect people's daily activities. Symptoms such as dizziness, nausea, car sickness, and balance problems can be due to a communication problem between the eyes and the inner ears. This problem can be caused by issues with the vestibular system and vision. In this blog, we will discuss the role of vision in motion sickness and how vision therapy can help alleviate these symptoms.

The Importance of Vision and Vestibular Systems

Our eyes and ears need to work together in a one-to-one ratio. They need to move together, whether it is in the same direction or the opposite direction. When our eyes and ears are not communicating well, we can experience motion sickness symptoms. 67% of people experience motion-based symptoms to some degree, and for some people, it can be severe and debilitating.

The vestibular system is located in our inner ears and provides information on balance and movement. The system consists of fluid and little crystals that help us feel changes in motion. When we tilt our heads, the fluid in our ears moves and becomes imbalanced, and our inner ears feel the change and send a signal to our brain to get back to balance. When the vestibular system is stimulated, our inner ears send a signal to our brain, which sends a signal to our eyes to move correspondingly.

Visual Vestibular Integration Problem

Sometimes, the problem is purely vestibular, but many times, it is a vision problem or a visual vestibular integration problem. Our eyes and ears need to see and feel the same thing to avoid motion sickness symptoms. Peripheral vision plays a crucial role in this process. It helps us see motion in the same way that our inner ears feel the motion.

 

Proprioception is another sensory system that helps with balance. Our feet feel the ground, and we see a level surface, which helps our brain make informed decisions about where our body is in space. When there is a mismatch between these systems, we can experience dizziness, nausea, and other symptoms.

 

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Take our online visual skills assessment to help identify if you have symptoms that indicate an underlying vision problem  /vision-therapy-specialty/vision-and-learning-quiz/ 

How Neuro Optometry and Vision Therapy Can Help With Motion Sickness

Vision therapy is a type of therapy for the eyes and brain that can be used to improve various visual conditions and skills. While it is not typically used as a primary treatment for motion sickness, it may be helpful in some cases.

Motion sickness is caused by a conflict between the visual and vestibular (inner ear) systems, which can be exacerbated by certain visual factors such as focusing on a fixed object, reading in a moving vehicle, or using screens with refresh rates that are not synchronized with the motion of the vehicle.

Vision therapy can help to address some of these visual factors by improving eye tracking, focusing, and convergence skills, as well as reducing sensitivity to motion and visual stimuli. By improving the efficiency and coordination of the visual system, it may be possible to reduce the frequency and severity of motion sickness symptoms in some individuals.

However, it is important to note that not all cases of motion sickness are related to visual factors, and vision therapy may not be effective for everyone. If you are experiencing frequent or severe motion sickness, it is best to consult our neuro optometrist who can help determine the underlying cause and recommend appropriate treatment options.

Common Symptoms of Motion Sickness

Motion sickness is a common condition that can cause a range of uncomfortable symptoms. Some of the most common symptoms of motion sickness include:

  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Vomiting
  • Sweating
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Pale skin
  • Rapid breathing

These symptoms can be caused by a variety of factors, including motion, such as riding in a car, boat, or airplane, and sensory input, such as reading or watching a movie while in motion. While some people may only experience mild symptoms, others may have severe and debilitating reactions. It's important to recognize the signs of motion sickness and take steps to manage symptoms to avoid further discomfort.

Schedule a functional vision exam at Amplify EyeCare Manhattan

If you or someone you know struggles with motion sickness, dizziness, nausea, or balance problems, consider visiting Dr. Nathaniel Wernick, who provides advanced neuro optometry and vision therapy. A functional vision exam can help determine if there is a vision problem contributing to the symptoms. Please call at (212) 752-6930 to schedule a functional eye exam.

Patients with motion sickness visit our clinic from all over New York, and we are proud to be a leading provider of functional vision services for patients from New York, Queens, Brooklyn, and Long Island.

 

Testimonials


At Amplify with Dr Wernick I was seeking help for seemingly intractable, probably age-related dryness. I've seen other doctors about it, and that has been helpful, but what he explained to me about it and the careful way he answered all my questions gave me so much more of a clear understanding of what is going on (and is not) that I am more able to implement all his and others' recommendations than I was before. And he gave me additional resources for further follow-up. I am most grateful.


Cynthia Norton

Wow! This is a great Eye Care medical facility. I was thoroughly examined by Dr. Pinkhasov for over 2 hours. She made sure to check my eyes for pretty much everything and patiently explained proper care for my eyes. They definitely know how to provide great care and treat their patients right. Now I know why they have such a great reputation and been around for so long.


Steve Fay

Dr. Kavner is a gifted diagnostician and orthoptic therapist. He treated me several decades ago for a condition similar to dyslexia. I was having migraines five times per week. I worked with him for about a year and I experienced tremendous improvement (down to 3-4 per year) that has lasted.


Mary K.

Dr. Kavner recommended two types of eye therapy for my daughter. One of them using bio-feedback. In just three sessions she is seeing considerably better. She shouted this morning: Ooh my God! I could not see these letters with my glasses on, and now I can see them without my glasses. If you are willing and able to invest in improving your vision, this is a good place to go to!


Peter G.

Dr. Kavner recommended two types of eye therapy for my daughter. One of them using bio-feedback. In just three sessions she is seeing considerably better. She shouted this morning: Ooh my God! I could not see these letters with my glasses on, and now I can see them without my glasses. If you are willing and able to invest in improving your vision, this is a good place to go to!


Kinkie F.

I have always found Dr Kavner's work, expertise and wisdom of the highest caliber. As one of the fathers of OT, occupational othomology, his depth and breadth of knowledge about the eyes' health and wellbeing of the patient is exemplary. Cannot say enough good things about him.


Allen B.
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