2021 Update: BVD and Neck Pain

Dr. Russel Lazarus, April 19, 2021

Up to 70% of people will experience neck pain that interferes with their daily activities.

Tension in the neck and shoulders can lead to eye strain, as tense muscles can press on eye nerves at the back of your neck. When thinking about what causes eye strain, you wouldn’t necessarily think that tension in your neck or shoulders would have an effect on your eyes.

Muscle tension in the upper back, neck and shoulders can be caused by a common visual misalignment, called Binocular Vision Dysfunction.

Others who experience neck pain may be compensating for an eye misalignment by tilting their head towards one shoulder. While this may help to realign the images vertically, it can lead to chronic neck pain.

By treating a vision misalignment or eye strain you allow the eyes to see clearly and properly, and symptoms of neck pain can be reduced or eliminated, providing you with a sense of relief.

Contact an eye doctor near you who has experience working with patients with neck pain and diagnosing and treating BVD or CVS.

SEE RELATED: 2021 Update: BVD and Eye Fatigue

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What is BVD?

Binocular Vision Dysfunction (BVD) is a condition where the eyes struggle to send one clear image to the brain due to a slight misalignment of the eyes.

This may not sound serious, especially if the misalignment is only very slight, but if the eyes aren’t working together perfectly it can be difficult or even impossible for a person to function properly without becoming dizzy – even if they have clear vision.

Fortunately, there are treatment options available that can help patients to overcome the impact that BVD has on their lives.

If you think your neck pain or other symptoms are related to your vision, contact a vision therapy eye doctor near you.

BVD Treatment

Vision therapy and prism lenses are a successful way to treat BVD.

1. Vision Therapy 

BVD is often treated with vision therapy.

Vision therapy is a customized program to improve the communication between the eyes and the brain to support the visual system and alleviate the symptoms of BVD, such as neck pain.

Usually, patients find that their symptoms slowly subside or completely disappear by completing a vision therapy program.

2. Prism Lenses

Prismatic (prism) lenses, along with vision therapy, have been proven to alleviate BVD symptoms. Prism lenses work to correct the eyes’ misalignment by manipulating incoming light before it enters the eyes so that when the images from the two eyes reach the brain, the brain can merge them into a single image.

The prisms in the glasses ‘trick’ the brain into thinking the eyes are aligned properly, allowing them to see just one object and preventing eye muscle strain and neck pain.

Contact a vision therapy eye doctor near you to start a vision therapy program to give your eyes the relief they deserve.

What is CVS (computer vision syndrome)?

Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) is an eye condition caused by staring at a digital device, especially for many hours. This condition presents itself through eye strain, neck strain, fatigue or headaches.

What is the best way to prevent CVS?

The number one way to prevent CVS, also known as Digital Eye Strain,  is by having an eye examination to rule out any visual problems, including lazy eye, focusing, eye tracking and convergence.

There are a number of other effective ways to relieve and even prevent CVS:

  • Reduce glare. The eyes need to work much harder when there’s glare on a screen. Make sure the screen is positioned in a way that prevents glare from indoor lighting or sunshine.  A glare filter can also be added to the screen to prevent glare.
  • Take breaks and blink often. Follow the 20-20-20 rule to prevent staring at a screen for too long. Take a break from the computer or device for 20 seconds, every 20 minutes, and look at something at least 20 feet away.
  • Adjust the screen’s angle. Make sure the screen is 20-28 inches from the eyes and that the center of the screen is 4-8 inches lower than eye level.

LEARN MORE:  Guide to Binocular Visual Dysfunction (BVD)

Schedule an appointment with an eye doctor near you who can help diagnose the cause of your neck pain and find the best treatment options for you and your eyes.