How Annual Eye Exams Find Brain Tumors And Vertigo

Posted on: 14 December 2016


Eye exams are important for the overall health of your eyes and the ability to see well. However, eye exams can find other diseases and disorders in the body too. High blood pressure and diabetes are just two of the well-known diseases/disorders of the body found via the blood vessels in your eyes. Brain tumors and vertigo are also often discovered by eye exams. Here is how.

Turning Your Head to Check Peripheral Vision

Part of your eye exam may involve turning your head to check your peripheral vision or following an object with just your eyes. During this test, if you suddenly feel dizzy and have to stop, your eye doctor may recommend that you see your general physician regarding a condition known as vertigo. This is a balance disorder, often brought on by a change in the position of your eyes, ears and head, and it can deeply affect your ability to see, hear, stand, balance, drive, etc. If you have vertigo, the next step would be to find out why.


During your eye exam, your doctor may also note jerking or abnormal eye movements known as nystagmus. These awkward eye movements are not normal, and can indicate that something is quite off inside your head or brain. Nystagmus is a sign that you are having trouble with your otic and/or optic nerves, and there may be a brain tumor present.

Best case scenario is that you just have bioelectric impulses misfiring. Worst case scenario is that you are either having mini-strokes or that there is one or more tumors causing these abnormal optic eye movements. A brain scan can quickly confirm or deny the presence of a tumor or stroke, in addition to any other abnormalities of the brain.

When Your Eye Doctor Suggests You See Your General Physician

Because your eye doctor does not want to send you into panic mode unnecessarily, he or she will simply request that you see your general physician as soon as you are able. He/she may also fax over a request to your doctor to have certain tests done to rule out other possible physical causes of vertigo and nystagmus. Take your eye doctor seriously when he/she makes these requests and suggests that you should see your doctor. Otherwise you may find yourself in a medically and financially dangerous position if something more serious is going on inside your head and/or brain.