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Visual Vertigo

Visual vertigo is a disorder characterised by symptoms of dizziness, vertigo, unsteadiness, disorientation, and general discomfort, caused by visual triggers. It is currently treated with vestibular rehabilitation therapy, with no effective pharmacotherapy available for treatment-resistant cases.

Symptoms typically occur during activities such as:

  • Walking through busy shopping centres
  • Being a passenger in a car
  • Watching trains moving at a crossing
  • Certain designs and patterns
  • Driving past railings
  • Watching action programmes on television.

Symptoms typically occur after a vestibular incident such as BPPV, vestibular neuritis/labyrinthitis or migraine.

Visual vertigo is different from ‘true’ rotational vertigo because rather than experiencing ‘rotation’ of the environment, instead the movement in the environment triggers the symptoms.

Acute vertigo usually subsides after several weeks, but occasionally you may notice lingering visual discomfort and symptom exacerbation from moving objects. This can leave you feeling frustrated and anxious about your symptoms and lack of symptom resolution.

Visual vertigo is usually because of visual dependence. There are 3 sensory systems involved in balance, your vision (eyes), vestibular system (ears) and proprioception (joints). In order to maintain balance, 2 of these systems are required to work. During visual vertigo, patients develop a dependence on their visual system.

As a result, Physiotherapy and vestibular rehabilitation is aimed at improving all aspects of the balance system and reducing the dependence on the visual fields.

If you feel you may be suffering from visual vertigo, call us on 0114 267 1233 to book an appointment with one of our specialist clinicians.

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