ISSN 1308-7649 | E-ISSN 2148-3817
Review
Discussion about Visual Dependence in Balance Control: European Society for Clinical Evaluation of Balance Disorders
1 Clinic of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, Neurotology Unit, Lausanne University Hospital, Lausanne, Switzerland  
2 Neurotology Unit, Vancouver General Hospital, Vancouver, Canada; Division of Otolaryngology, University of British Columbia Faculty of Medicine, Vancouver, Canada.  
3 University of Lorraine, Development, Adaptation and 11 Handicap, Faculty of Medicine and UFR STAPS, Villers-lès-Nancy, France  
4 Unit of Neuro-Ophthalmology, Erasme University Hospital, Bruxelles, Belgium  
5 Department of Neurology, Emile Mayrisch Hospital, Esch-sur-Alzette, Luxembourg  
6 Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, Clinical Sciences, University Hospital of Lund, Lund, Sweden  
7 Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Landspitali University Hospital, Reykjavik, Iceland  
8 Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, Clinical Sciences, Maastricht University Medical Center, Maastricht, The Netherlands; Faculty of Physics, Tomsk Reserch State University, Russia.  
9 Department of Pediatric Otolaryngology, University Hospital of Nancy, Vandoeuvre-lès-Nancy, France  
J Int Adv Otol 2017; 13: 404-406
DOI: 10.5152/iao.2017.4344
Key Words: Balance, visual dependence
Abstract

The executive committee of the European Society for the clinical evaluation of balance disorders meets annually to address equilibrium problems that are not well understood. This is a review paper on discussions in the latest meeting we held. Materials and methods: Seeing patients with vestibular disorders who end up depending on visual information as part of their compensation process is a common clinical occurrence. However, this “visual dependence” can generate symptoms, which include nausea, sensations of imbalance, and anxiety. It is unclear how this develops, as symptoms can be widely variable from patient to patient. There are several triggering factors to this symptom set, and quantifying it in a given patient is extremely difficult Results: The committee agreed that the presence of this symptom set can be suggestive of vestibular pathology, but the pathology does not have to be present. As a result, there is no correlation between symptom severity and test results. Conclusion: Visual dependence can often be present in a patient, although little, if any, measurable pathology is present. It is important to emphasize that although we cannot accurately measure this with either standardized testing or pertinent questionnaires, “hypersensitive” patients have a genuine disease and their symptoms are not of psychiatric origin. 

 

 

Cite this article as: Mallinson A. Discussion about Visual Dependence in Balance Control: European Society for Clinical Evaluation of Balance Disorders. J Int Adv Otol 2017; 13: 404-6.

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