Binocular Vision Dysfunction (BVD)

woman holding hand on forehead from migraine and text about binocular vision dysfunction over it

If you often experience headaches, dizziness, light sensitivity or eye strain, you may have an eye condition called Binocular Vision Dysfunction (BVD).

BVD is generally described as a misalignment of the eyes. Even a slight misalignment can send signals to the brain which tell the eyes to force themselves back into focus. Therefore, Binocular Vision Dysfunction can cause a variety of symptoms, and is something that doctors can’t always detect with just a standard eye exam.

In this article, you’ll learn all about BVD symptoms, eye exams, and treatment options. If you’re in Chicago, you can also schedule an appointment at Eye Society to have a BVD exam today.

Symptoms of BVD

Symptoms of binocular vision dysfunction can be caused by a variety of issues, including misalignment of the eyes, a difference in the focusing power of the eyes, or a lack of coordination between the eyes.

Ultimately, binocular vision dysfunction causes your eye muscles to work overtime. This can lead to many vision problems that can affect your quality of life.

As a result, people with BVD often experience the following symptoms:

Eye pain & fatigue

Through constant misalignment and realignment, your eye muscles undergo strain and stress. Eye pain due to strain may feel like a burning or sharp sensation in the eye, usually on the surface. It may also be accompanied by redness, watering, itching, and/or fatigue.

Headaches and migraines

Patients with BVD caused by Post Concussion Syndrome often experience headaches at the base of the skull, throbbing at your temples, or intense pressure at the crown of the head. Headache and migraine symptoms due to BVD are usually constant and intense.

Blurry vision and difficulty reading

Do you ever feel tired when reading as though the words are blending together? Do you tend to skip lines when reading or often lose your place? BVD has also been linked to reading and learning disorders, and some patients describe words as “swimming on the page”.

The small misalignments caused by BVD are generally missed on routine eye exams. So if you experience any of these symptoms then you should schedule an appointment for a BVD exam today.

woman squinting in pain from headache while reading

Dizziness, lightheadedness, nausea, motion sickness, and vertigo

When the eyes are misaligned, the brain receives conflicting information from each eye. As a result, BVD can cause the person to feel dizzy, lightheaded, nauseous, and experience motion sickness and vertigo. This can also cause headaches, confusion, and difficulty focusing.

While these symptoms can vary, common triggers of BVD include:

  • Car sickness or dizziness when driving around curves, riding in the passenger seat, or seeing cars speed by in your peripheral vision
  • Slowly drifting side to side as you walk
  • Frequently running into objects on the same side of your body
  • Large indoor spaces with tall ceilings (like malls, bog box stores, or airports)

Double vision

If you’re experiencing double vision, you may be seeing two overlapping or shadowed images, as well as a heightened sensitivity to light due to amplified glare from surfaces. You might also find yourself covering or closing one eye to make visual tasks easier and may have difficulty with activities such as sports which require catching or hitting a ball.

This type of vision disorder can be quite debilitating and can make it difficult to focus on and comprehend what you’re seeing. In addition to blurred vision, you could also be experiencing dizziness and nausea. Furthermore, if you’ve always been clumsy, uncoordinated, or have poor hand-eye coordination, you may be suffering from Binocular Vision Dysfunction.

Disruptive Sleep Pattern

Misaligned eyes from BVD can lead to strained eye muscles, which can in turn lead to issues with sleep. Here are some of the ways strained eye muscles can impact your sleep patterns:

  1. Difficulty falling asleep when any light is present. Light seen through the eyelids can lead to experiencing visual vertigo, which causes disorientation and dizziness.
  2. Restless sleep due to the strain placed on the eye muscles, which can lead to discomfort and poor sleep quality.
  3. Trouble focusing the eyes/rapid eye movement, which can lead to difficulty concentrating and staying asleep.

Getting the right diagnosis and treatment for misaligned eyes can be the key to getting a good night’s rest and feeling your best during the day. By addressing the root cause of your sleep issues, you can avoid having to rely on sleep aids to get a restful night’s sleep.

Binocular Vision Dysfunction Test

Now that you know more about binocular vision dysfunction symptoms, you might be wondering how you can tell if you have BVD.

At Eye Society, we offer patients a comprehensive evaluation beyond what the routine eye exam can test for. Using a binocular vision test, we can help determine whether or not your eyes have a misalignment or some form of BVD.

If you’re in Chicago, you can schedule Binocular Vision Dysfunction test at Eye Society today.

Binocular Vision Dysfunction Treatment

At Eye Society, if we determine that you have BVD or some misalignment of the eyes, we can can prescribe RX Prism Lenses (also called micro-prism lenses).

Prism lenses are a type of corrective eyeglass lens that is used to correct binocular vision disorders. They are designed to change the direction of light passing through them, which helps to align the eyes and correct misalignment of the visual axes.

close up photo of eyeglasses

Prism lenses come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. They’re usually made of plastic or polycarbonate and can be either prescription or non-prescription. At Eye Society we usually prescribe prism lenses in conjunction with other treatments, such as vision therapy exercises and patching.

Can binocular vision dysfunction go away on its own?

There is no cure for binocular vision dysfunction. However, through the use of micro-prism lenses and binocular vision training you can manage the effects of BVD to the point where symptoms are minimized or eliminated.

At Eye Society, we offer a variety of prism lenses and vision training to help you live a better life with BVD. Schedule an exam today to start the process.

Additional Frequently Asked Questions

What is monocular vision and binocular vision?

Monocular vision means seeing with only one eye at a time, and binocular vision means seeing with both eyes. Humans have binocular vision, whereas animals with eyes on the sides of their head like lizards, horses, bats, and fish have monocular vision. That said, if a person’s eye gets damaged and vision is lost, they technically have monocular vision as well.