What is BVD?

What is Binocular Vision Dysfunction?

Binocular Vision Dysfunction (BVD) is a serious eye condition where the eyes are misaligned, sending two different images to the brain. The brain struggles to merge these two different images into one clear image, causing symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, anxiety, motion sickness, and chronic neck pain.

Symptoms of BVD

BVD can severely impact people of all ages. Children with BVD often struggle with reading in school, hand-eye coordination, playing sports, and car sickness. This condition often leads to misdiagnoses of ADHD, dyslexia, and migraines in children. Adults with BVD regularly experience headaches, daily anxiety and dizziness, and can be severely limited from doing normal tasks or succeeding in the workplace.

The symptoms of BVD are wide-ranging and not often recognized by traditional eye doctors. Those who specialize in treating BVD often organize the symptoms into groups based on how they impact patients:

Physical Findings:

  • Neck pain and/or shoulder and back pain

  • Struggles to walk in a straight line

  • Head tilt

  • Clumsy, bumping into doorways and people they are walking next to

  • Prone to falling or tripping

Neurological Symptoms:

  • Migraines; daily headaches

  • Migraine associated vertigo (MAV) or vestibular migraine (VM)

  • Seizures

Anxiety Symptoms:

  • Panic attacks in crowded areas or on highways

  • Anxiety in large department stores or shopping malls

  • Agoraphobia (extreme fear of open or crowded places, or of leaving one's own home)

Reading Challenges:

  • Rereading for comprehension

  • Skipping lines when reading

  • Letters running together

  • Uses finger-pointing when reading

  • Fatigue with reading

  • Difficulty focusing or paying attention

  • Struggling to pay attention in school

Driving Symptoms

  • Anxiety on the highway

  • Car sickness or nausea

  • Experience glare at night

  • Trouble driving at night

Binocular Vision Symptoms:

  • Diplopia or double vision

  • Poor depth perception or judging distances

  • Trouble catching balls

  • Difficulties with hand-eye coordination

  • Poor handwriting & drawing skills

  • Poor eye contact

  • Covering one eye to clear the image

What causes BVD?

The condition can be caused by facial asymmetry similar to adults, or it can be caused by a concussion or head injury, such as from a soccer game or falling while riding a bike. Some research suggests that at least 20% of adults experience some symptoms of BVD that may be interfering with their everyday lives. Someone you know may be suffering from binocular vision dysfunction and not even realize it. Exactly why some people develop BVD and others don’t often isn’t clear.

Early research has found that BVD can be genetically inherited and run in families, most often from mother to daughter. In other clinical research, there is a direct correlation between head injury or concussion and the onset of BVD symptoms. There is also a connection between BVD and acquired brain injuries caused by a stroke, Lyme disease, COVID-19, and Mono (Mononucleosis).

Can BVD be misdiagnosed?

Yes, BVD symptoms are often mistaken for a number of other conditions since many medical and eye doctors don’t know how to screen for and diagnose BVD. Patients are regularly but mistakenly told they have one of the following conditions, while in reality BVD is the main cause of their symptoms:

  • Agoraphobia

  • Anxiety / Panic disorders

  • ADD / ADHD

  • Cervical misalignment

  • Meniere’s Disease

  • MS (Multiple Sclerosis)

  • Reading Comprehension Issues

  • Sinus problems

  • Psychogenic dizziness / Chronic Subjective Dizziness

  • BPPV (Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo)

  • PPPD (Persistent Postural-Perceptual Dizziness)

  • Vestibular Migraine / Migraine Associated Vertigo (MAV)

  • TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorders

Find out if you are struggling with BVD: TAKE THE BVD TEST

Adult BVD Questionnaire

Youth BVD Questionnaire
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