Could it be their eyes? Get treatment for your child’s dizziness.
Could it be their eyes? Get treatment for your child’s dizziness.
Dizziness in children can make your child completely miserable - They might have difficulty attending school, paying attention in the classroom, and it can also impact their emotional well being.
A child having frequent dizziness might also complain of headaches and feeling nauseous. But did you know that headache and dizziness in your child could actually be the result of a slight misalignment between their eyes? This subtle misalignment is known as Binocular Vision Dysfunction (BVD).
Binocular Vision Dysfunction occurs when the slight misalignment between your child’s eyes causes your child’s eyes to be out of sync with each other. This makes it very difficult for the brain to make one clear image from the two misaligned images. Most people’s brains can transform two separate but aligned images into one clear image, known as Binocular Vision. But in children with Binocular Vision Dysfunction, it becomes difficult for the brain to process the two misaligned images into one clear image.
In order to fix this problem, the brain will force the eye aligning muscles to realign the eyes. However, the misalignment returns almost immediately, and over time, this continuous cycle of misalignment/realignment places an enormous amount of strain on the eye muscles, resulting in dizziness in children, as well as headaches, nausea, and many other symptoms.
In addition to being dizzy, children with BVD often experience clumsiness. In younger children, some clumsiness is not unusual, but coordination should improve with age. Persistent clumsiness that is not age-appropriate could indicate BVD.
Children experiencing vision problems tend to frequently squint and strain their eyes in an effort to see the board at school or to read books and homework. Children with BVD are straining their eye muscles in an attempt to maintain eye alignment. These problems can ultimately lead to headaches throughout the day.
When a concussion occurs, it’s common for the visual system of the brain to become injured, resulting in vision misalignment and BVD.
While Binocular Vision Dysfunction is a common condition, dizziness in children is often misdiagnosed as one of the below conditions, despite many of these being extremely rare.
If your child has recently been diagnosed with any of the above conditions without experiencing any relief, it could be a result of BVD.
If your child has BVD, the symptoms will vary depending on their age. Children experiencing frequent dizziness will often also experience the following symptoms.
For children ages 4 to 8-years-old, common behaviors and symptoms of Binocular Vision Dysfunction can include:
For children ages 9 to 13-years-old, common behaviors and symptoms of Binocular Vision Dysfunction can include:
To determine if your child’s dizziness and other symptoms are the result of Binocular Vision Dysfunction, we suggest you first see your primary care physician or specialist to rule out other causes of their symptoms. If no cause is found for their symptoms, then BVD might be the issue.
When you visit Vision Specialists of Michigan, you will be asked to complete a specialized questionnaire designed to screen for those who might have BVD, as well as complete a detailed Health History form.
An eye exam is performed to determine the need for correction of nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism (a common imperfection in the eye’s curvature).
Following the standard eye exam, a specialized exam is performed (NeuroVisual Evaluation) to determine if your child has visual misalignment. If diagnosed with BVD, your child will be fitted with a trial version of new prescription lenses. Most children notice a significant improvement in their symptoms within just a few minutes of putting on the trial lenses. You can expect to spend approximately 3 hours in our office during your visit.
Dizziness is serious if it is affecting your child’s quality of life. When children regularly experience dizziness, it can result in them missing out on social activities with friends and it can also result in them missing school. Both of these factors can delay their cognitive development, and reading and learning skills. Dizziness in children can also lead to a misdiagnosis of ADD or ADHD.
Fortunately, if your child complains of dizziness frequently, there is treatment available.
If your child is feeling dizzy throughout the day or week due to a slight misalignment between their eyes, our micro-prism lenses can correct their misalignment. These specialized lenses at Vision Specialists of Michigan are different from standard lenses in that they specifically bend light in a way that the image seen by the eye is moved into the position it needs to be in - the result is the image is realigned and corrected, markedly reducing or eliminating your child’s dizziness, headaches, nausea, and other symptoms.
The average patient will notice a 50% reduction of symptoms by the end of their first visit. Our aligning lenses will be perfected and fine-tuned over the next several visits, helping your child to continue to feel better.
Watch these videos of BVD patient experiences:
Veteran's Story of Binocular Vision Dysfunction and Triumph over TBI
Purple Heart Veteran's Vision Misalignment Caused by Traumatic Brain Injury
Professional Colleagues Discuss Binocular Vision Dysfunction
Dr. Sandy DiPonio earned her optometry degree from Illinois College of Optometry in 1996. She is a highly skilled and experienced eye care professional dedicated to giving her patients of all ages excellent and compassionate care. She has a wide variety of experience in binocular vision, pediatric and adult eye care, ocular disease and contact lens fitting. She strives to provide each of her patients the best quality of life they can achieve with their vision through knowledge and education of treatment options.
Dr. DiPonio is a member of the American Optometric Society and Michigan Optometric Society.
Dr. Sally Hoey has been practicing optometry since graduating from Michigan College of Optometry in 2001. During her time in optometry school, she developed an interest in binocular vision, culminating in a senior thesis involving binocular vision.
Prior to joining Vision Specialists of Michigan, Dr. Hoey specialized in the diagnosis and treatment of vision-related learning problems as well as other binocular vision disorders. Her other areas of interest include specialty contact lens fittings and treating dry eye. Dr. Hoey strives to provide her patients with clear, comfortable vision while meeting their individual needs at the same time.
Dr. Hoey had the opportunity to provide eye care on an optometric mission trip to Guyana, South America and vision screenings at a local medical clinic. She is a member of the American Optometric Association, Michigan Optometric Association, Metropolitan Detroit Optometric Society and the College of Optometrists in Vision Development.
Dr. Jennifer Place graduated with honors from Michigan College of Optometry in 2001.
Before joining Vision Specialists of Michigan, she specialized in treating pediatric and adult patients with binocular vision disorders and vision-related learning problems, as well as fitting specialty contact lenses and managing various types of ocular disease. She enjoys working with patients with unique visual needs, and she takes great pride in providing all patients with highly customized care.
Dr. Place has volunteered for Opening Eyes, a program that provides eye exams to the athletes of the Michigan Special Olympics, and she participated in an international mission to St. Lucia to provide eye care to those in need. Dr. Place is a member of the Detroit Optometric Society, the Michigan Optometric Association, the American Optometric Association, the College of Vision Development, and the Optometric Extension Program Foundation.
Dr. Mary Jo Ference has been practicing optometry since 1990 upon graduating from Ferris State University- Michigan College of Optometry, and is certified in Low Vision Rehabilitation. She has worked at Sinai-Grace Hospital systems for over 20 years before joining Vision Specialists of Michigan in 2013 to work with binocular vision disorders. Her clinical areas of expertise include visual rehabilitation of pediatric and adult patients who have suffered from brain trauma, injury or disease. She has taught both optometry and ophthalmology residents at Sinai Grace Hospital. Dr. Ference has sat on numerous boards, including Sinai Grace Hospital, Berry Out-Patient Surgical Center, and Seedlings Braille Books for the Blind. She is actively involved in area school districts to provide education, training and access for students, teachers, OT’s and PT’s to eye care service rehabilitation information. Dr. Ference has lectured extensively nationally and internationally.
Dr. Debby Feinberg began practicing Optometry in Oakland County in 1983, upon graduating from Illinois College of Optometry. She joined her father, Dr. Paul C. Feinberg, at Mall Optical Center, which was located in Summit Place Mall.
Since 1995 Dr. Feinberg has been developing the field of NeuroVisual Medicine which is the optometric subspecialty that identifies and treats neurological / medical symptoms that originate directly or indirectly in the visual system.
Dr. Feinberg has been performing pioneering work with Binocular Vision Dysfunction (BVD), a condition where a vision misalignment (frequently subtle) creates difficulties with the two eyes working together to create a single 3-dimensional image, and difficulties with the two eyes following that image as it moves.
The symptoms caused by BVD are not usually associated with problems with the visual system, and include headache, dizziness, anxiety and panic, persistent post-concussive symptoms, gait instability and balance problems, frequent falls, neck pain, motion sickness, nausea, and reading and learning problems.
In 2004. Dr. Feinberg established Vision Specialists of Birmingham, specifically designing the practice to accommodate the needs of the NeuroVisual Medicine patient.
In 2011, the office moved to its current location in Bloomfield Hills and updated its name to Vision Specialists of Michigan.