Discussion about Visual Dependence in Balance Control: European Society for Clinical Evaluation of Balance Disorders

Raphael Maire, Arthur Mallinson*, Hadrien Ceyte, Sebastien Caudron, Christian Van Nechel, Alexandre Bisdorff, Mans Magnusson, Hannes Petersen, Herman Kingma, Philippe Perrin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/Letter to the editorAcademicpeer-review


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)404-406
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of International Advanced Otology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2017


  • Balance
  • visual dependence


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