Visual Midline Shift Syndrome

Visual Midline Shift Syndrome 

Visual Midline Shift Syndrome is an unusual phenomenon that often occurs following a neurological event such as a TBI or CVA. The ambient visual process changes its orientation with regard to the midline of vision. Both lateral and transverse midlines can be affected. We use the parietal lobe to integrate all sensory input, including vision, and to be able to interpret information for functional use. Visual input from the left eye is processed in the right side of the brain, and input from the right eye is processed in the left side of the brain. When this process is altered after a neurological event or injury, it can create a perceived amplification of space internally on one side and a compressed amplification of space on the other.

Symptoms of Visual Midline Shift Syndrome:

  • Dizziness or nausea
  • Spatial disorientation
  • Consistently stays to one side of hallway or room
  • Bumps into objects when walking
  • Poor walking or posture: leans back on heels, forward, or to one side when walking, standing or seated in a chair
  • Perception of the floor being tilted
  • Associated neuromotor difficulties with balance, coordination and posture

When should assessment occur?

Due to the major impact of the visual system on cognitive and motor function, the visual rehabilitative needs of the brain injured, stroke, or neurologically impaired patient must be addressed as early as possible.

Help with Assessment

These guides and checklists have been prepared to assist patients and rehabilitation professionals in determining the appropriateness of referring persons who have sustained a traumatic brain injury, CVA or other neurological impairment. This information should be used as a first step in determining if visual difficulties are interfering with the rehabilitation progress of the individual. Please call or e-mail Minnesota Vision Therapy Center for more information or to set up an initial evaluation. (A recent – no more than twelve months old – general eye health exam is required prior to the evaluation appointment.)  We are happy to provide you with a list of optometrists in your area if you do not already have a family optometrist.