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Can Dizziness Be a Sign of Eye Problems?

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A woman experiencing dizziness possibly caused by eye problems.

A sudden wave of dizziness—the room starts spinning and tilting, and you have trouble keeping your balance. 

Various factors, including inner ear issues, neurological conditions, and stress or anxiety, can cause this uncomfortable issue. It can even be caused by a problem with your vision.

Our vision is closely linked to our sense of balance, and any disruptions in our visual system can lead to feelings of dizziness or vertigo.

Common Vision Problems Related to Dizziness

The human body is an intricate web of interconnected systems, and the visual system plays a significant role in maintaining equilibrium, providing critical input to the brain about your position in space and the environment around you. When this visual input is disrupted or compromised, it can throw off the body’s balance and lead to dizziness.


Vertigo is one of the most common causes of dizziness related to vision. Vertigo is a type of dizziness characterized by a sensation of spinning or movement when there is none. It’s often associated with inner ear issues such as benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) or Meniere’s disease. 

However, it can also be caused by problems with the visual system, specifically the part of the brain that processes visual information. 

Gaze Stability

Gaze stability refers to maintaining a steady visual image while moving your head or body. This is an important function of the visual system, is crucial for maintaining balance and coordination, and keeps you oriented in your environment. 

Certain conditions can impact gaze stability, resulting in blurred vision, dizziness, and fall risk.

Visual Motion Sensitivity

One issue that can affect gaze stability is visual motion sensitivity (VMS). It occurs when the brain has difficulty processing fast or repetitive movements, causing dizziness and disorientation. It can be triggered by specific visual stimuli, like scrolling text on a computer screen or riding in a car.

Convergence Insufficiency

Another potential cause of dizziness related to vision is convergence insufficiency (CI). CI is a condition where the eyes have difficulty working together to focus on nearby objects, leading to eye strain and headaches. In severe cases, it can also cause dizziness due to the extra effort required for the eyes to maintain alignment.

If there’s an issue with your eyes, they can provide unreliable input, leading to dizziness as your body tries to compensate for the issue.


A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury that can cause a variety of visual symptoms. It occurs when the brain is jolted or shaken inside the skull, resulting in damage to brain cells and changes in brain function.

Dizziness is one of the most common symptoms of a concussion, along with headache, nausea, and confusion. It can also be accompanied by vision problems such as blurred or double vision. This type of dizziness usually resolves within a few weeks as the brain heals from the injury.

If you experience dizziness after hitting your head or experiencing any other type of trauma, seek immediate medical attention. Concussions can have serious long-term effects if left untreated.

Common Eye Conditions That Cause Dizziness

Several eye conditions can indirectly contribute to symptoms of dizziness. 


Cataracts are the clouding of the eye’s natural lens, which can lead to blurred or double vision. These visual disruptions can cause issues with spatial perception, although cataracts themselves do not directly cause dizziness. 


Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that damage the optic nerve and generally progress without noticeable symptoms. Although glaucoma doesn’t directly cause dizziness, some medications used for managing it can, such as beta-blockers.

Macular Degeneration

Macular degeneration is generally not directly linked to dizziness. However, the loss of central vision and visual distortions linked with macular degeneration can affect orientation and balance, contributing to feelings of dizziness or imbalance for some individuals. 

Retinal Detachment

Seeing sudden flashes of light or floaters, with a dense shadow following, could signal retinal detachment, a severe condition requiring immediate medical attention. While retinal detachment doesn’t directly cause dizziness, its impact on your vision can throw off your balance and contribute to feelings of instability. 

Maybe It’s Your Glasses

If your dizziness goes away and you feel better after removing your glasses, it may be your prescription. If your prescription is too strong or too weak, it can cause visual distortions that can lead to feelings of dizziness and disorientation.

If you have new glasses, it may take some time for your eyes to adjust and get used to the updated prescription. However, if your symptoms persist or worsen, call your eye doctor to re-evaluate your prescription.

A bowl of salad on a wooden table.

Prevention & Lifestyle Changes

Dizziness isn’t always avoidable, but you can support your overall eye health by maintaining some healthy lifestyle habits: 

  • Use proper lighting to help reduce eye strain and maintain visual clarity.
  • Eat a balanced diet rich in nutrients like vitamins A, C, and E, as well as omega-3 fatty acids. 
  • Reduce screen time and take regular breaks to rest your eyes.
  • Stay hydrated because dehydration can affect eye function.
  • Maintain good posture to positively impact eye health and minimize eye strain.
  • Schedule regular eye check-ups to ensure your prescription is up to date and vision issues are addressed.

For those already dealing with recurrent dizziness, talk to your optometrist about treatment options, such as vision therapy or vestibular rehabilitation.

When to See an Eye Doctor

​​If you’re experiencing recurrent, sudden, severe, or prolonged unexplained dizziness or vertigo, schedule an appointment with your eye doctor.

They can perform an eye examination to look for the source of your dizziness and provide a personalized treatment plan or refer you to a specialist.

A comprehensive eye exam includes tests for visual acuity, eye pressure, and the overall health of your eyes. Call us at Hercules Optometric Group by Total Vision and book an appointment today!

Written by Total Vision

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