Visual causes of dizziness

Dizziness caused by oculomotor issues

Some of the causes of pathological nystagmus, which is a visually-triggered form of dizziness, are highlighted in this article.

Unlike that Benign Paroxismal Positional Vertigo, other pathological forms of nystagmus could be contributing to feelings of dizziness, loss of balance, and fatigue associated with some patients.

These forms of dizziness can be due to a lack of adaption, or a slowness of adaption, of the visual senses and the associated vestibular and proprioceptive feedback loops that keep us upright.


Above is only a few of the visual sources of dizziness, and these should be considered with a comprehensive dizziness assessment.

Many clinicians assume that dizziness is only caused by the vestibular system itself, but further testing of visual tracking, acuity, and testing for fixation on a moving and static target should be considered as part of a comprehensive assessment.

> From: Chin, Med Hypotheses 116 (2018) 84-95 . All rights reserved to Elsevier Ltd. Click here for the online summary.

Expert opinion

This article highlights that many systems, including ocular muscle control, can play a very complex part in the overall picture of steadiness versus dizziness. Often, if a mechanical source of dizziness cannot be found, it is assumed that the patient must be experiencing a psychological trigger to their symptoms.

While a psychological component can ofcourse be present in any case, slowing down and looking further at basic eye movements and functions can shed light more on dizziness. Especially in those with a history of a head injury, or those that have tasks such as focusing on a screen, the risk of more than just an inner ear issue being the root of the dizziness is present and should be further examined.

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