Driving and BVD
Dizziness While Driving and Binocular Vision Disorders
We treat many kinds of vision disorders here at NeuroVisual Specialists of Florida, so we understand just how frustrating they can be. Many of our patients that suffer from binocular vision dysfunction and vertical heterophoria have problems with dizziness and vertigo, especially vertigo while driving or while making swift movements of any kind.
This can be uncomfortable and even dangerous to deal with in the long-term. Have you experienced any of the following while you were driving?
- Feelings of extreme anxiety and maybe even the need to pull over
- Feeling like you were about to have a panic attack, especially while driving toward the horizon on a wide-open highway
- Feeling like you’re still moving even after you’ve stopped at a red light
- Sudden blurriness or inability to focus on the road
- Feeling like you were having an out-of-body experience or even having a vague floating feeling while driving
- Fears of driving over a bridge because you felt like you wouldn’t be able to drive straight across it
- Feeling like the other cars were drifting into your line when they weren’t
None of these symptoms are safe to ignore. In fact, they could be caused by a binocular vision disorder called vertical heterophoria.
Dr. Sonneberg Talks About Feeling Dizzy While Driving
What Is Vertical Heterophoria?
Vertical heterophoria is a kind of binocular vision dysfunction (BVD) caused by a misalignment of the eyes. Though it could be very small, this misalignment leads to a level of eye strain and fatigue that, over time, wears down your eye muscles. Certain kinds of motion are more likely to aggravate the condition than others, which could be the reason you’ve been feeling dizzy while driving.
In particular, this condition often shows itself when you transition quickly from one motion to another. You might feel it while shifting your head from side to side or bending over too fast. Some patients report sudden bouts of nausea while walking. Whatever your symptoms are, you’ll need an accurate diagnosis to begin receiving treatment.
Diagnosing and Treating Vertical Heterophoria
Vertical heterophoria is one of the most commonly misdiagnosed vision disorders. Its symptoms are often shrugged off as mere headaches or minor vertigo, meaning that some patients have been known to go many years without being treated.
At our clinic, we use a wide range of visual tests to see what’s going on with your eyes and help you find an appropriate treatment plan. Routine eye exams may not be detailed enough to catch the subtle signs of visual misalignment that could be causing your BVD.
After determining which muscles in your eyes have become misaligned, we use prism glasses to reduce the strain in your eyes and give those over-worked muscles a break. These glasses use lenses shaped to bend light in accordance with the alignment of your eye, so that rather than having your eye strain itself to correct the image, the prism lens does the work for you.