Headaches can be caused by a variety of things, including allergies, tension, and sinus infections. Yet many people don’t realize that neurological conditions that affect the visual system can also bring on headaches.
This means that people who suffer from headaches with no apparent reason often go years without a diagnosis, finding no relief until they visit a neuro-optometrist. At The Neuro-Optometry Center at Neuro-Vision Associates of North Texas in Plano we diagnose and treat headaches related to eye misalignment, strokes, traumatic brain injuries, and more.
What Are Visual Problems?
Visual problems affect the functioning of the visual system, including the eyes, the optic nerve, and the parts of the brain that process visual information.
Common visual system issues include lazy eye (amblyopia), misaligned eyes (strabismus), eye muscle imbalances such as convergence insufficiency or focussing problems, and binocular vision dysfunction (BVD).
These visual problems can negatively impact the functioning of the visual system, and can sometimes even lead to vision loss. They can also result in eye strain and painful headaches – even migraines – caused by overworked eye muscles.
Binocular Vision Dysfunction (BVD) and Headaches
Binocular vision dysfunction is a condition where the eyes are misaligned and can be a catalyst for headaches. If the eyes are even slightly misaligned, they send 2 distinct images to the brain. The brain struggles to combine the images into a comfortable and clear 3D image. This can result in double vision, eye fatigue, dizziness, tension headaches, and migraines.
BVD can be caused by strabismus (crossed eyes), amblyopia (lazy eye), a traumatic brain injury (TBI), and other neurological conditions.
People with BVD often experience discomfort while watching TV, reading, or using digital devices.
How Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs) Trigger BVD
TBIs occur when the head, and/or neck experience a forceful impact that jolts the brain, causing it to slam against the skull. This usually happens during a sports injury, car accident, fall, or other physical trauma.
Traumatic brain injuries can trigger binocular vision dysfunction because they disrupt the normal functioning of the visual system. A TBI can also result in changes in depth perception, which makes it challenging to judge distances. This can contribute to BVD symptoms, including headaches. A TBI can also lead to increased sensitivity to light and glare, further exacerbating BVD symptoms.
If you’ve suffered a TBI and are experiencing symptoms of BVD, it’s important to seek the help of a neuro-optometrist. They can evaluate your visual system, determine the cause of your symptoms, and develop an appropriate treatment to improve your visual function.
Treatments for Visual Problems like Binocular Vision Dysfunction
Treatment for BVD-related headaches includes correcting underlying visual problems using neuro-optometric therapy, corrective lenses, and in severe cases, surgery.
Vision therapy teaches the brain and the eyes to work together more efficiently using a variety of activities, eye exercises, and prism lenses. This improves visual skills like depth perception, convergence, side vision, eye tracking, and eye teaming, which helps alleviate BVD symptoms and any headaches caused by it.
Find a Neuro-Optometrist in Plano
At The Neuro-Optometry Center at Neuro-Vision Associates of North Texas in Plano we perform neuro-optometric evaluations to determine if a visual problem is the root cause of your headaches. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.
Our practice serves patients from Plano, North Dallas, Fort Worth, and DFW Metroplex, Texas and surrounding communities.