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Is My Motion Sickness Caused by a Vision Problem?

motion sickness

motion sicknessIf you have ever experienced motion sickness, you know how miserable it can make you feel. Motion sickness typically causes nausea and may even cause vomiting. However, there are other symptoms that may surface, including cold sweating, headache, pallor and drowsiness. Motion sickness is caused by an exposure to physical, visual or virtual motion.

Often, the cause of the motion sickness is a disconnect from the patient’s visual system. The brain gathers the information, and when there’s a conflict, you’ll likely experience motion sickness. But, could motion sickness also be caused by a vision problem? If a person’s visual, auditory and vestibular systems need to be working in unison, does it mean that a functional vision problem may be the root of the problem?

Vision for Life treats patients that have functional vision problems, such as a problem with eye teaming, eye focusing or eye movements. When patients are receiving inaccurate visual information, this causes a mismatch between their visual and vestibular cues, often resulting in a feeling of nausea and motion sickness.

When riding in a boat or reading while being a passenger in a car, reduced visual input occurs. Your vestibular system feels like you are moving, but you are experiencing reduced visual input until you either get out of the car or step out on the dock. Once that happens, your reduced visual input is rectified. The symptoms should then be reduced or go away, although people with more serious functional vision problems may experience motion sickness for a longer period of time.

If you are being stricken regularly with frequent, annoying bouts of motion sickness due to activities that are typically considered “nonthreatening,” you may have a condition called Neuro-Ocular Vestibular Dysfunction (NOVD), also known as See-Sick Syndrome (SSS). At Vision for Life, we can perform a functional vision exam to determine any underlying vision issues. Once we diagnose the reason for the motion sickness, we can provide an effective treatment solution.

If you do have a vision problem causing your motion sickness symptoms, we have a variety of treatment options available that will alleviate any troubling symptoms that you may be experiencing. Treatment may include lenses, Syntonics and vision therapy that can help correct accommodative issues with the eyes, as well as light therapy that can provide relief. Syntonics, a color light therapy, helps patients with poor peripheral awareness, which often is a contributor to motion sickness. Vision therapy works much like physical therapy because we use exercises and activities to retrain the eyes and brain to work together, reducing visual stress.

Luckily, patients with See-Sick Syndrome can be treated effectively with the Vision for Life program. We want to make sure you feel better as soon as possible, enjoying life again without having to rely on coping strategies because of any vision challenges. It is our goal to help you, or someone you love, receive relief with our specialized visual program. Visit our website to see all of the services we offer at call us at 618-288-1489.