Vision problems linked to motion sickness…an important public health issue


Last week Stacy Lu, reporter for MSNBC.com, wrote an excellent article entitled Adult-onset motion sickness rare — but can happen. In doing her research,  Ms. Lu contacted me requesting my clinical insights into the types of vision problems that are associated with those individuals (both adults and children) who are  susceptible to motion sickness and vertigo.

It was a pleasure to provide Ms. Lu with an overview of these complex visual issues and she in turn contacted another medical expert, Timothy Hain, M.D., an otoneurologist and professor at Northwestern University Medical School for his medical insights.

Then to balance out the story with the patient’s perspective, she asked if I had recently completed treatment on an adult patient who wouldn’t mind speaking to her on the phone. Coincidently,  we had just completed the process of vision therapy treatment for an adult individual who  had struggled with dizziness secondary to a  binocular dysfunction combined with poor visual-vestibular integration, and she agreed to speak with Ms. Lu.  Our patient, LaReine Gretzky, was originally referred to me by her primary eye care optometrist, Dr. John Marohn of Great Lakes Eye Care in St. Joseph, Michigan, who had recognized LaReine’s visual problems. Dr. Marohn advised LaReine that she needed the help of vision rehabilitation/vision therapy, and referred her to my care for a diagnostic evaluation and treatment.  And to share her story, here she is…  LaReine Gretzky on the day of her “graduation” from Wow Vision Therapy.

For those who struggle with vision problems linked to motion sickness and/or dizziness it is important to find help by a doctor who is experienced in neuro-optometric vision rehabilitation and vision therapy. Look for a Board Certified Fellow (FCOVD)through the College of Optometrists in Vision Development (COVD) nearest you by going to the www.covd.org or the Neuro Optometric Vision Rehabilitation Association website at www.nora.cc

Additional information with related references,  including my PowerPoint lecture delivered in July 2011, can be found within the article I wrote for The VisionHelp Blog entitled: The See-Sick Syndrome…when visual dysfunction causes motion sickness.

Dan L. Fortenbacher, O.D., FCOVD

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