NeuroVisual medicine is a form of treatment that involves the identification and treatment of patients with a condition known as Binocular Vision Dysfunction or BVD for short. BVD is a condition that very few people have heard of but is not all that uncommon. The term encompasses a group of different ocular problems that occur as a direct result of difficulties with the way that the two eyes work in conjunction with one another. This error results in either a vertical or horizontal misalignment between the line of sight for one eye with the other.
One of the biggest challenges of Binocular Vision Dysfunction is linking the associated symptoms to the condition. This is because many of the indicators of the condition are not obviously related to the eyes or our vision. Another significant challenge is that patients with BVD typically only have a very small amount of vision misalignment, which is often not enough to be detected in your usual annual eye exam.
The symptoms of BVD occur as a result of the body trying to naturally correct the misalignment in the patient’s vision, which it does by overusing and straining the eye muscles. This can cause symptoms that include:
Unsteadiness on the feet or drifting whilst walking
Poor co-ordination/may appear clumsy
Poor depth perception
Eye pain, particularly with movement
Pain in the upper back, shoulders, and neck
Sensitivity to light
Losing your place whilst reading
Closing one eye to make it easier to focus
Fatigue when trying to read because of the effort involved
Generalized difficulty with reading and reading comprehension
Anxiety, particularly in crowds or large spaces
Having difficulty focusing when someone is talking to you
Fitful and restless sleep pattern
You may experience any of these symptoms or a combination of them. Equally, the severity of these symptoms can vary considerably, and whilst some people find that they are extremely debilitating, others can manage well with little interruption to their day to day lives.
NeuroVisual specialists have the necessary education, training, and experience to be able to identify and diagnose Binocular Vision Dysfunction and provide the appropriate treatment.
Before a patient can be approved for neurovisual medicine, they must first undergo a comprehensive vision assessment. This is to ensure that the issues that they are experiencing can indeed be resolved using this type of treatment. These assessments can last for between two and three hours long, and so patients are asked to ensure that they allow enough time for this assessment. This will include taking a very thorough medical history and specialized testing.
The way in which BVD is treated is through using bespoke prisms which are incorporated into your glasses or lenses. These will effectively displace the image that one eye sees so that it matches up perfectly with the other eye, counteracting the misalignment that the patient usually experiences. The exact amount of prism needed will vary between patients and will be fine-tuned over a series of appointments. Most patients can expect to see up to a 50% improvement in their symptoms right away, and at the end of fine-tuning, the average patient will have around an 80% reduction in the symptoms of BVD that they have been experiencing. This can make a tremendous difference in their quality of life.
If you would like more information about Binocular Vision Dysfunction or NeuroVisual Medicine, please get in contact with our expert neurovisual team in Cave Creek, AZ today.