Skip to main content

For many, the correlation between vision problems and psychological distress seems, at best, tenuous. However, for those familiar with binocular vision dysfunction (BVD), the relationship is all too clear. Let’s explore this connection and understand why so many patients with BVD find themselves battling with not just visual disturbances but anxiety as well.

What is Binocular Vision Dysfunction?

Binocular Vision Dysfunction is a condition where the two eyes are misaligned, causing them not to work together in perfect union. This can result in double vision, blurry vision, dizziness, balance issues, and yes, anxiety. The visual disturbance itself can be minimal, but its effects can be profound, affecting everyday life and emotional well-being.

Binocular Vision Dysfunction and Anxiety: The Connection

The human brain is wired to receive clear, coordinated visual input from both eyes. When this doesn’t happen due to BVD, the brain works overtime to correct the misalignment. This process can be mentally exhausting and can lead to symptoms like:

  • Sensory Overload: Imagine visiting a mall where the lights, moving crowds, and the sheer vastness of the space can feel overwhelming. For someone with BVD, their brain is already overtaxed trying to process and adjust the visual input. Adding the stimuli of a busy environment can escalate this feeling of being overwhelmed, leading to panic or anxiety.
  • Fear of Losing Control: When driving, especially with loved ones in the car, a sudden bout of dizziness or double vision can be terrifying. The fear of an accident or not being in control can induce severe anxiety, making some individuals avoid driving altogether.
  • Misunderstanding and Isolation: A significant part of the anxiety stems from being misunderstood. Many patients with BVD are told that their symptoms are psychological, leading to feelings of frustration and isolation. When medical professionals dismiss symptoms as “all in the head,” it only magnifies the distress.
  • Physical Symptoms: Apart from the emotional toll, BVD can lead to physical symptoms like headaches, nausea, and fatigue. These physical manifestations can further contribute to anxiety and a feeling of being unwell.

Recognizing and Addressing the Issue

If you or someone you know exhibits symptoms of BVD and experiences anxiety, it’s crucial to consult with specialists who recognize the intricate link between the two. The NeuroVisual Specialists of Florida understands the profound impact BVD can have on one’s mental health.

Moving Forward

The good news is that BVD can be diagnosed with a comprehensive neurovisual examination. Customized micro-prism lenses can be prescribed to help realign the eyes, reducing or eliminating the symptoms. As the visual disturbances decrease, many patients also find their anxiety levels drop significantly.

Take the First Step Towards Clarity and Calm

Do you resonate with the challenges mentioned above? Have you ever felt that your vision issues might be playing a role in your anxiety? We encourage you to fill out our online BVD questionnaire. It’s a simple, confidential tool designed to help identify potential signs of Binocular Vision Dysfunction. By taking this step, you’re not only prioritizing your vision but also your mental well-being.

Dr. Erin Sonneberg, OD, received her Doctor of Optometry degree from New England School of Optometry in Boston, Massachusetts in 2004. She completed her undergraduate studies at City University of New York, Queens College in 2000, where she graduated with honors in business. Dr. Sonneberg relocated to Boynton Beach, Florida, in 2006, and has been practicing alongside prestigious ophthalmologists in the area since that time.