Eye Movements: A Window to Assessing Nervous System Function

Eye Movements: A Window to Assessing Nervous System Function

The eyes and how they move are very important indicators of how well our brains are working. Many health professionals use eye movement assessments to test their patients’ nervous systems. The eyes are key contributors to how we understand where our bodies are in space as well as understanding when we are safe and when we are in danger. When an individual experiences a concussion the trauma can cause our brain to hold on to the feeling of not being in a safe environment leading to the healing process being slowed or halted. As chiropractors we help to remove the interference that makes the body feel unsafe and increases our environmental awareness.

A series of eye movement tests can be used to assess brain function. During one of our eye movement assessments, the doctor will have the patient follow either their finger or a pen through 8 directions while they watch for any asymmetrical jumps during either eye’s pursuit of the object. For reference, sharpened and optimally functioning nervous system with no interference should have no problem slowly following a target. When a jump occurs, this shows that the brain is trying to cheat to keep up with the object by skipping ahead. During that minor jump the brain is forced to fill in information using its prior knowledge of how objects move considering the momentum of the target. This blip of filled in information causes a spike in nervous system activation leading to increased stress on the brain. Once this jump or blip in the system has been found, a specific adjustment can be made to help heighten the brain/nervous systems efficiency of dealing with stressors. This assessment and correction are a form of brain balancing.

Having a balanced brain and nervous system helps to increase the bodies adaptability thus allowing for better, healthier coping mechanisms. An unbalanced brain may manifest as anxiety, ADD, ADHD, postural distortion, moodiness, fatigue, and problems with eyesight such as double vision. Stop on in to have us check how your nervous system is functioning!

Dr. Kyle

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