Why Head Tilt Could Indicate a Vision Problem (2024)

Severe neck pain can make day-to-day life very difficult. The ongoing stiffness and soreness is bad enough, but when the neck’s range of motion starts to become affected, the daily tasks you perform without thinking become much more difficult.

Why Head Tilt Could Indicate a Vision Problem (1)

Many people seek treatment for their neck pain through the traditional channels, yet are frustrated and disappointed when they don’t see results. They may frequently be seen by a chiropractor for chronic neck pain because the adjustments just don't seem to last. Surprisingly, the reason none of these methods are helping an aching neck could actually be due to a condition called Binocular Vision Dysfunction (BVD).

Binocular Vision Dysfunction & Head Tilt

Severe neck pain is the most common symptom to result from head tilt, which is a mechanism the body uses to try and fix the vertical misalignment caused by BVD. Of the many people with neck pain we’ve helped at Vision Specialists of Michigan, almost all of them had a head tilt – yet only 25 percent of patients realized it beforehand! In retrospect, the tilt can be seen in their driver’s license pictures and in old photographs.

In order for your eyes to see clearly and work together effectively, they must be able to work in sync with each other, and for complete synchronization the eyes must be perfectly aligned. When the eyes are out of alignment, this synchronization is disrupted. Patients compensate by tilting their head to one side in order to vertically realign the images they’re seeing. While this often-unconscious response may help realign images, it can easily result in chronic neck pain.

How Binocular Vision Dysfunction Affects Neck Pain

Neck pain symptoms also may be due to certain conditions including:

  • Neck muscle spasm. The sudden, involuntary tightening of the neck muscles can cause sharp, jabbing pains, a condition which is referred to as a muscle spasm. They’re usually the result of overworked muscles and can last minutes, hours or days. The continuous tilting of the head by patients with BVD to realign their vision is just such an action that leads to overuse of the neck muscles and neck muscle spasm. Once the vision misalignment is correctly treated, however, the head tilt resolves and the pressure on the neck muscles will quickly decrease or disappear entirely.

  • Neck strain. Just as the eye muscles can become strained when overworked, the neck muscles and tendons can also become strained or injured when they’re overused. When BVD patients repeatedly tilt their heads, it puts additional stress on the neck muscles, which exacerbates the problem if the neck is already strained. The customized aligning prismatic lenses we prescribe to our patients work in a way that brings the eyes back into sync, which in turn realigns the images, eliminates the need for the head tilt and provides neck pain relief.

  • Scoliosis. While scoliosis is characterized by a misalignment of the spine, it can also have an effect on other parts of the body. Depending on the severity of the sideways curvature, scoliosis can sometimes cause the head and neck to tilt, resulting in neck pain. At times, this can also be accompanied by a vision misalignment. If you’re experiencing scoliosis neck pain and traditional treatments don’t seem to be working, it would be helpful to consult a NeuroVisual specialist at Vision Specialists of Michigan to see if aligning lenses will help reduce your neck pain by eliminating the need to tilt your head.

  • Torticollis (wry neck). Wry neck is the sudden onset of severe neck pain that limits range of motion and causes neck stiffness and neck muscle soreness. While painful, it is usually of short duration. If this pain and discomfort becomes chronic, lasting longer than a few days, a vision misalignment may be a contributing factor to your ongoing neck pain. Our specialized aligning lenses can relieve this chronic pain by eliminating the need for the head to tilt.

Find Relief at Vision Specialists of Michigan

If you have a head tilt, chronic neck pain or are experiencing other symptoms of BVD such asdizziness and nausea,we want to help. Contact Vision Specialists of Michigan at [company_phone] to find out if we can relieve your neck pain by treating your BVD,or fill out our quick and easyscreening questionnaire.

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Tagged With: Neck Pain and Head Tilt,

Why Head Tilt Could Indicate a Vision Problem (2024)

FAQs

Why Head Tilt Could Indicate a Vision Problem? ›

Misalignment of the eyes or strabismus.

What eye problems cause head tilt? ›

WHAT EYE PROBLEMS CAUSE AN ABNORMAL HEAD TILT?
  • Crossed eyes (strabismus): When a child has crossed eye(s), how much the eye crosses will change when the child is looking in different directions. ...
  • Shaky eyes (nystagmus): Sometimes a child's eyes can shake.
Oct 27, 2023

What does tilting the head to the side indicate? ›

Most cases of head tilt are associated with a condition called torticollis, although in rare instances a head tilt can be due to other causes such as hearing loss, misalignment of the eyes, reflux (a flowing back of stomach acid into the esophagus), a throat or lymph node infection, or, very uncommonly, a brain tumor.

What is head tilt and imbalances in visual processing? ›

Head tilt and imbalances in visual processing

A chronic head tilt can also arise due to how the eyes process visual information. If vision from one eye is being interpreted as coming in lower or higher than the other eye, the brain will compensate by tilting the head to make vision appear more equal.

What is the condition that causes head tilt? ›

Torticollis, sometimes called wry neck or twisted neck, is the medical name for a rare condition that causes involuntary head tilting, frequently due to tightened neck muscles or another underlying condition. Torticollis has a variety of causes. In most cases, it is a muscular problem that can easily be corrected.

What neurological conditions cause visual disturbances? ›

Damage to the areas of the brain that are responsible for sight is involved. The many causes of ABI VI include stroke, brain tumour, head injury and infections such as meningitis. ABI VI used to be called cortical visual impairment and cortical blindness.

Does astigmatism cause head tilt? ›

People with astigmatism tend to tilt their heads in one direction or another to see. The cornea's unevenness creates an inaccurate perception of what looking straight ahead is. One natural way to treat astigmatism is to be aware of your head tilting.

What is the significance of head tilt? ›

Research published in the journal Emotion found that specific head positions can influence how people appraise emotions from another person. People were reported as angrier when their head was tilted slightly down.

What is abnormal head tilt head posture? ›

Abnormal head positions are adopted in order to improve visual acuity, to avoid diplopia or to obtain a more comfortable binocular vision. The head can be turned or tilted toward right or left, with the chin rotated up or downwards or combination of these positions.

What is ocular tilt? ›

The ocular tilt reaction (OTR)17 is a particular type of skew deviation. It consists of a triad of vertical deviation, head tilt in the direction of the lower eye, and bilateral ocular torsion in the direction of head tilt (Figure 2). The amount of ocular torsion may be symmetrical or asymmetrical.

Why does vestibular disease cause head tilt? ›

Head tilt. During a neurological examination, a common abnormality of the posture at rest in those with vestibular syndrome is head tilt, which results from the loss of anti-gravity muscle tone on one side of the neck.

What does head tilt down and eyes look downward convey or show? ›

To account for the strong signal of dominance sent by a downward-head tilt alone, Witkower and Tracy11 proposed the action unit imposter account, wherein tilting one's head downward causes the eyebrows to take on an apparent V shape and seem to become lowered—the same appearance cues associated with Action Unit (AU) 4, ...

Why does my vision change when I tilt my head? ›

Answer: A head tilt can be used to make vision better. In some patients it can improve the position of the eyes so that they work better together. For some people a head tilt can change the position of the eyes in relation to the eyelids, and that can improve vision a bit as well.

Can anxiety cause head tilt? ›

Anxiety tics can manifest as physical movements, such as rapid eye blinking or head tilting, or as vocalizations, like throat clearing or grunting. Whatever form they take, anxiety tics are typically a response to overwhelming stress and usually go away on their own.

Is head tilt an emergency? ›

Before we do a deep dive into Head Tilt it is important to note that this is an illness that requires emergency care.

Why do I tilt my head without noticing? ›

When the eyes are out of alignment, this synchronization is disrupted. Patients compensate by tilting their head to one side in order to vertically realign the images they're seeing. While this often-unconscious response may help realign images, it can easily result in chronic neck pain.

Does lazy eye cause head tilt? ›

Lazy Eye Signs and Symptoms

Repeated eye closure or squinting. Eyes that don't move in the same direction when the child is trying to focus. A persistent head turn or head tilt.

What is an ocular tilt reaction? ›

The ocular tilt reaction (OTR)17 is a particular type of skew deviation. It consists of a triad of vertical deviation, head tilt in the direction of the lower eye, and bilateral ocular torsion in the direction of head tilt (Figure 2). The amount of ocular torsion may be symmetrical or asymmetrical.

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