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  • Writer's pictureGig Harbor Living Local

Binocular Vision Dysfunction

Recognize the signs … and see a neurovisual optometrist

By Dr. Kandi Moller, Owner of Eye Candy Optical and the Myopia Control & Treatment Center in Uptown, Neurovisual Medicine Specialist, Mother to @gumdropthepig


Do you have anxiety in large stores or open spaces? Does driving, especially at night or on busy highways, cause you stress or make you no longer want to drive? Do you find yourself stumbling, walking crooked or into the person next to you? Take out some pictures of yourself; is your head tilted consistently to one side? Do you know someone who has panic attacks or rarely steps foot outside? Are indoor lights too bright for you?

These are all just a few signs of binocular vision dysfunction. If the 12 muscles or three nerves that control our eye movements aren’t working together, the eyes are misaligned and no longer work together as a team. Instead of receiving the same info from each eye, the brain receives two offset images, confusing the brain. This misalignment is usually very small but wreaks havoc on the person, causing symptoms that are not associated as being caused by the eyes.

A typical patient will see a physician, who might start the patient on “anti-something” drugs. Maybe a trip to a neurologist (if you can get in before six months), who scans to rule out organic causes, and prescribes medication for the pain, and injections for severe cases. A trip to psych for different meds or counseling. Weekly adjustments at the chiropractor for the pain that never really goes away. Physical therapy for dizziness and clumsiness. Being benched after a concussion, then never feeling quite the same afterward. A trip to the ER for a fall. A banged-up car bumper because you can’t judge the distance from the curb. Visits to the VA for the lingering effects from a battlefield explosion. Maybe a trip to an optometrist or ophthalmologist to check vision that never seems quite right, only to be told everything’s normal.

A routine vision exam is not sensitive enough to find small amounts of misalignment. A specially trained neurovisual optometrist delves into the complex history and symptoms, performs “normal” eye exam tests, then also does multiple binocular tests to check for alignment issues—both horizontally and vertically. That same day the patient can visualize how the world changes with the new prescription.

A fast, free, simple quiz can tell you if you or someone you love may be suffering from binocular vision dysfunction. Take your quiz at:

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