Vestibular Migraines

Vestibular Migraines?

Do you or someone you love suffer from vestibular migraines? If so, there may be triggers and treatments that have not yet been discovered or discussed.

Most of the patients that I see who have been diagnosed with vestibular migraines have triggers that are largely visual.  Busy visual environments, flashing lights, computer screens, reading, motion and more. 

This leads me to believe that there is something wrong with the visual processing, otherwise why would these visual triggers cause symptoms?  An easy example of this is the PATTERN GLARE TEST.   This test is only giving visual stimulus, but it often provokes a lot of symptoms in people with vestibular migraines or chronic migraines.  This tells us that something to do with how vision is being processed is part of the migraine trigger.  This is also why treating these visual problems means that vision doesn’t trigger the migraines to the same extent, or at all.

It’s often overlooked how visual processing of depth/space gone bad can cause vestibular type symptoms.  This can be re-created in people by using glasses that distort depth/spatial perception, without changing any inner-ear function.

The reason this happens is because vision is 70% of the incoming sensory information to the brain.  Vision is then used to integrate with the vestibular system. If vision is not accurate (even though it may be clear), it can cause problems with how the eyes and the inner ear work together.

If the Pattern Glare test causes you any symptoms or is unpleasant, then we know that visual stimulus is a big trigger and there is a problem with how vision is being processed. 

The big problem is that typical testing for vestibular migraines often doesn’t dive deep enough into how vision is working to diagnose or be able to treat any of the vision problems.  A routine eye exam will likely miss the visual-vestibular mismatch as well.

If you or a love one is suffering from vestibular migraines, please find your nearest neuro-optometrist who tests eye tracking, binocular function and visual vestibular integration.  It can mean the difference between years of suffering and getting back to being you.

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