Effect of developmental binocular vision abnormalities on visual vertigo symptoms and treatment outcome

Marousa Pavlou*, James Acheson, Despina Nicolaou, Clare L. Fraser, Adolfo M. Bronstein, Rosalyn A. Davies

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Background and Purpose: Customized vestibular rehabilitation incorporating optokinetic (OK) stimulation improves visual vertigo (VV) symptoms; however, the degree of improvement varies among individuals. Binocular vision abnormalities (misalignment of ocular axis, ie, strabismus) may be a potential risk factor. This study aimed to investigate the influence of binocular vision abnormalities on VV symptoms and treatment outcome. Methods: Sixty subjects with refractory peripheral vestibular symptoms underwent an orthoptic assessment after being recruited for participation in an 8-week customized program incorporating OK training via a full-field visual environment rotator or video display, supervised or unsupervised. Treatment responsewas assessed at baseline and at 8 weeks with dynamic posturography, Functional Gait Assessment (FGA), and questionnaires for symptoms, symptom triggers, and psychological state. As no significant effect of OK training type was noted for any variables, data were combined and new groups identified on the basis of the absence or presence of a binocular vision abnormality. Results: A total of 34 among 60 subjects consented to the orthoptic assessment, of whom 8 of the 34 had binocular vision abnormalities and 30 of the 34 subjects completed both the binocular function assessment and vestibular rehabilitation program. No significant between-group differences were noted at baseline. The only significant between-group difference was observed for pre-/post-VV symptom change (P = 0.01), with significant improvements noted only for the group without binocular vision abnormalities (P<0.0005). Common vestibular symptoms, posturography, and the FGA improved significantly for both groups (P < 0.05). Discussion and Conclusions: Binocular vision abnormalities may affect VV symptom improvement. These findings may have important implications for the management of subjects with refractory vestibular symptoms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)215-224
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Neurologic Physical Therapy
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Binocular vision
  • Vestibular rehabilitation
  • Visual vertigo


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