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Visual Fields in Visual Vertigo

  • Research type

    Research Study

  • Full title

    Visual Fields in Visual Vertigo



  • Contact name

    Jaydip Ray

  • Contact email

  • Sponsor organisation

    Sheffield Teaching Hospitals

  • Duration of Study in the UK

    0 years, 5 months, 29 days

  • Research summary

    Appropriate orientation in space and control of balance in humans is maintained by the effective cooperation of the inner ear organs (labyrinth), the eyes (vision) and the muscles (proprioception). Following a dysfunction of the inner ear (such as an infection), some patients rely heavily on their vision to keep their balance and become visually dependent. The term “Visual Vertigo” was introduced in 1995 by A. Bronstein to include this group of patients. These patients experience debilitating vertigo in challenging visual environments (such as supermarket aisles), leading to social isolation and depression as well as increased risk of falling. Research studies have shown that the patients’ symptoms improve significantly following a course of vestibular rehabilitation. We have a specialized Visual Vertigo Clinic in Sheffield. A recent service evaluation showed excellent results; its findings were presented nationally at the British Academy of Audiology Meeting, Glasgow, 2016. More specifically, significant improvements were observed in quality of life and frequency of symptoms of visual vertigo, following Visual Vertigo Rehabilitation.

    The proposed study aims to identify whether the visual fields of patients suffering from Visual vertigo, change following a 4-week long session of vestibular rehabilitation. Visual field is the entire area that can be seen when the eye is directed forward, including that which is seen with peripheral vision. These patients might have narrow visual fields to suppress unnecessary visual information that can make them dizzy. When someone has narrow visual fields, their vision is as if they are looking through a narrow tube. This is particularly bothersome when they walk due to decreased ability to navigate. Moving around also poses a threat as they might miss important visual cues, such as a car approaching. This is a small, pilot study that will assess 12 patients with a diagnosis of visual vertigo referred for vestibular rehabilitation to our Visual Vertigo Clinic. The patients will undergo visual field testing before and after their course of vestibular rehabilitation. The researchers expect to find that following the course of vestibular rehabilitation, the patients’ visual field is wider compared to before. These expectations are based on the fact that based on our experience to date, most people report significant improvement of Visual Vertigo symptoms following their rehabilitation; altered visual fields might be an important component of this improvement. As explained above, such a change would mean that the patients would feel more comfortable going out and being active. Except for the visual field testing, remaining treatment will be as per the established pathway for visual vertigo management.

  • REC name

    Yorkshire & The Humber - South Yorkshire Research Ethics Committee

  • REC reference


  • Date of REC Opinion

    5 Sep 2017

  • REC opinion

    Further Information Favourable Opinion