This ocular condition happens as the result of a slight eye misalignment, which can cause symptoms such as dizziness and blurry vision. Treatment includes specialty lenses and vision therapy.
The condition known as binocular vision dysfunction (BVD) happens when your eyes are slightly misaligned, making it more difficult for your eyes to work together and send clear images to your brain.
This can lead to various symptoms, such as dizziness, reading difficulties, headaches, eyestrain, blurry vision, and lack of focus and concentration.
Because the symptoms of BVD are so broad and varied, BVD is often mistaken for other conditions. But when diagnosed correctly, treatments can include using specialty prism lenses and attending vision therapy sessions.
This article explains BVD, its causes, and how it may be diagnosed and treated.
BVD is an eye misalignment condition.
When your eyes aren’t aligned correctly, they can’t send clear images to the brain. This can lead to various symptoms. BVD can be disruptive to everyday life.
Learn more about how your eyes work.
Several factors can cause BVD. Sometimes, BVD results from a neurological or brain condition that has affected the visual system. This can include:
BVD can also result from irregularities in your facial muscles or nerves in the eyes. For example, people who have one eye that’s physically higher on their face than the other eye can develop BVD.
This can go unnoticed for many years, but the muscles tend to get weaker with age, causing symptoms of BVD to develop.
BVD causes various symptoms that can affect daily life and go well beyond visual difficulties.
Visual symptoms of BVD can include:
- blurry vision
- blurriness more pronounced in dim lighting
- light sensitivity
- difficulty seeing words on pages and screens
- difficulty judging distances between objects
- difficulty with hand-eye coordination
- frequent squinting
- glares or halos in dim lighting
- eye pain
- double vision
Physical symptoms of BVD can include:
- neck, shoulder, and back pain
- frequent headaches
- head tilting
- difficulty walking in a straight line or staying in the center of a hallway or line
- bumping into walls, shelves, or objects when walking
- difficulties with balance
- motion sickness
- sinus pressure
Cognition and reading symptoms of BVD can include:
- difficulty with attention and concentration
- easily fatigued while reading
- easily distracted during tasks that require reading or computer work
- low reading comprehension
- seeing words appear to float or move on pages and screens
- skipping over words and lines when reading
- using a finger as a guide while reading
Anxiety symptoms of BVD can include:
BVD is diagnosed after a comprehensive eye exam.
At your exam, your eye doctor will do in-office testing to see how well your eyes are able to work together. These tests will be similar to those that are part of a standard eye exam but will likely take a bit longer.
This eye exam will also include questions about your symptoms, your medical history and medications, and the history of any other visual problems you might have experienced.
BVD shares symptoms with many other conditions and is often mistaken for those conditions. It’s common for people to be initially misdiagnosed before receiving their BDV diagnosis.
Conditions that BVD is commonly mistaken for include:
Treatment can help manage BVD and, for many people, eliminate symptoms.
Typically, BVD is treated with vision therapy and prism lenses. Prism lenses can be put into glasses, and they correct misalignment by changing how light hits your eyes.
They can prevent double vision and eyestrain and reduce headaches, reading difficulties, and other symptoms.
Vision therapy is a program that can help the eyes and brain communicate. Similar to physical therapy or speech therapy, vision therapy is tailored to each person who attends. Supervised eye exercises are done in each session. Goals are set, and progress is measured throughout the program.
BVD is an eye condition that happens when the eyes are misaligned. The condition makes it difficult for the eyes to work together correctly and damages their ability to send a clear picture to the brain.
This can happen because of a neurological condition that affects the visual system, such as stroke or multiple sclerosis, or because of physical misalignment of the eyes or eye muscles.
BVD leads to a wide range of symptoms that can affect everyday life. This can include anxiety, dizziness, headaches, difficulty reading, blurry vision, and difficulty focusing and concentrating. This wide range of symptoms often causes BVD to be initially misdiagnosed with other conditions.
Once BVD is correctly diagnosed, treatment, including specialized prism lenses and vision therapy sessions, can manage the condition and eliminate symptoms.