Can Vision Therapy and Neuro Optometry Help with Motion Sickness?

Published on
March 8, 2023

Motion sickness can be debilitating and affect people's daily activities. Symptoms such as dizziness, nausea, car sickness, and balance problems can be due to a communication problem between the eyes and the inner ears. This problem can be caused by issues with the vestibular system and vision. In this blog, we will discuss the role of vision in motion sickness and how vision therapy can help alleviate these symptoms.

The Importance of Vision and Vestibular Systems

Our eyes and ears need to work together in a one-to-one ratio. They need to move together, whether it is in the same direction or the opposite direction. When our eyes and ears are not communicating well, we can experience motion sickness symptoms. 67% of people experience motion-based symptoms to some degree, and for some people, it can be severe and debilitating.

The vestibular system is located in our inner ears and provides information on balance and movement. The system consists of fluid and little crystals that help us feel changes in motion. When we tilt our heads, the fluid in our ears moves and becomes imbalanced, and our inner ears feel the change and send a signal to our brain to get back to balance. When the vestibular system is stimulated, our inner ears send a signal to our brain, which sends a signal to our eyes to move correspondingly.

Visual Vestibular Integration Problem

Sometimes, the problem is purely vestibular, but many times, it is a vision problem or a visual vestibular integration problem. Our eyes and ears need to see and feel the same thing to avoid motion sickness symptoms. Peripheral vision plays a crucial role in this process. It helps us see motion in the same way that our inner ears feel the motion.


Proprioception is another sensory system that helps with balance. Our feet feel the ground, and we see a level surface, which helps our brain make informed decisions about where our body is in space. When there is a mismatch between these systems, we can experience dizziness, nausea, and other symptoms.


Take Our Online Vision Skills Quiz

Take our online visual skills assessment to help identify if you have symptoms that indicate an underlying vision problem  /vision-therapy-specialty/vision-and-learning-quiz/ 

How Neuro Optometry and Vision Therapy Can Help With Motion Sickness

Vision therapy is a type of therapy for the eyes and brain that can be used to improve various visual conditions and skills. While it is not typically used as a primary treatment for motion sickness, it may be helpful in some cases.

Motion sickness is caused by a conflict between the visual and vestibular (inner ear) systems, which can be exacerbated by certain visual factors such as focusing on a fixed object, reading in a moving vehicle, or using screens with refresh rates that are not synchronized with the motion of the vehicle.

Vision therapy can help to address some of these visual factors by improving eye tracking, focusing, and convergence skills, as well as reducing sensitivity to motion and visual stimuli. By improving the efficiency and coordination of the visual system, it may be possible to reduce the frequency and severity of motion sickness symptoms in some individuals.

However, it is important to note that not all cases of motion sickness are related to visual factors, and vision therapy may not be effective for everyone. If you are experiencing frequent or severe motion sickness, it is best to consult our neuro optometrist who can help determine the underlying cause and recommend appropriate treatment options.

Common Symptoms of Motion Sickness

Motion sickness is a common condition that can cause a range of uncomfortable symptoms. Some of the most common symptoms of motion sickness include:

  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Vomiting
  • Sweating
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Pale skin
  • Rapid breathing

These symptoms can be caused by a variety of factors, including motion, such as riding in a car, boat, or airplane, and sensory input, such as reading or watching a movie while in motion. While some people may only experience mild symptoms, others may have severe and debilitating reactions. It's important to recognize the signs of motion sickness and take steps to manage symptoms to avoid further discomfort.

Schedule a functional vision exam at Amplify EyeCare Chattanooga

If you or someone you know struggles with motion sickness, dizziness, nausea, or balance problems, consider visiting Dr. Heather McBryar, who provides advanced neuro optometry and vision therapy. A functional vision exam can help determine if there is a vision problem contributing to the symptoms. Please call at (423) 710 3965 to schedule a functional eye exam.

Patients with motion sickness visit our clinic from all over Tennessee, and we are proud to be a leading provider of functional vision services for patients from Hixson, Chattanooga, Cleveland, and Middle Valley.



Vision therapy is well worth the response, time and effort. Our Son had a hard time focusing and writing neatly. After vision therapy Seth could complete a task in half the time if previously took. His abilities to focus improved greatly and so did his handwriting.

Also, he was better at listening. As a parent, we wanted learning to be fun for our Son, and vision therapy made this possible.

Amanda T.

Vision Therapy is well worth the expense, time and effort. Our son had a hard time focusing handwriting neatly. After vision therapy Seth could complete a task in half the time it previously took his abilities to focus and improved greatly and so did his handwriting.

Also, he was better at listening. As a parent you wanted learning to be fun for our son and vision therapy made this possible.

Alexa H.

Vision Therapy has given or son the tools he needs to be able to scan and read the written word more effectively and efficiently.

He love working with John and these working sessions give him the motivation to gladly work on his homework assignments.

It amazed us to see the difference in the tracking of his eyes and along a line of it's from the beginning to the end of the treatment.

Dr. McBryar , Kristen and John  are all marvelous and we would recommend them to anyone I only wish that we would have found them sooner!

Charlotte M.

Prior to coming to the institute for vision development my son complained of daily headaches. Therapy has eliminated his headaches completely. I love knowing my son is able to learn pain-free for the rest of his life because of the work that has been done over just a few weeks in this office. He he absolutely loved coming that didn't even feel like going to a doctor or therapy. We are grateful for the relief he was able to find by coming here.

Thank you!

Olivia C.

Seems much less frustrated with life

Reads non-stop and fast

Spelling abilities have been hugely improved

Seems much more confident

Thank You!!!

Kelly O.

When we first came to the practice, my son did not have huge issues, but lots of small ones- trouble with reading, sports (hitting the baseball consistently), coordination, etc- that were not easily detectable,but when put together presented issues. The staff here were all very professional and loving towards him. While I was concerned in the reading, my son was concerned with the athletic side. Seeing improvement night off the bat gave him confidence that i have nor seen in him and made him want to not only Come to therapy, but also made him want to work hard. He has surpassed his grade level and above in reading and hit his first home run this year! Thank you!!!

Alice M.
1 2 3 10



How Does Vision Therapy Improve Reading Ability?

According to the American Optometric Association, approximately 80% of what a child learns in school is acquired through vision, and […]

Read More

What Causes Bloodshot Eyes? Understanding the Causes and Treatments

Bloodshot eyes can be alarming, but they are not always a cause for concern. In this blog, we will discuss […]

Read More

Ocular Rosacea: Understanding the Symptoms and Best Treatment Options

Rosacea is a skin condition that affects many people. While it is commonly found on the face, rosacea can also […]

Read More
see all blogs

Contact Us To Amplify Your EyeCare

Amplify EyeCare Chattanooga Logo

Working Hours

Monday - Tuesday
7:30AM - 5:15PM

Wednesday - Thursday
8:00AM - 5:15PM

Friday - Sunday

1043 Executive Drive Suite #101 Hixson, TN 37343
(423) 710 3966
Website Accessibility Policy
Safety protocols page
privacy policy
For Patients
Call Us
eyefile-adduserphone-handsetcalendar-fullarrow-uparrow-right linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram