• The Role of vision and refractive correction changes in dizziness

      Elliott, David B.; Alderson, Alison J.; Armstrong, Deborah (University of BradfordBradford School of Optometry and Vision Science, 2018)
      Dizziness is a common, multifactorial problem that causes reductions in quality of life and is a major risk factor for falls, but the role of vision is a very under-researched area. This study aimed to investigate any link between dizziness and vision and to establish if changes in spectacle lens correction could elicit dizziness symptoms. A link between dizziness and self-reported poor vision was indicated in the epidemiological literature as shown by a systematic review, provided lightheadedness was not included in the definition of dizziness. Cases of individuals who reported vision-related dizziness were investigated to determine potential areas of research for this thesis and subsequently two studies investigated the effects of refractive correction changes on dizziness status. The first study was limited by logistical problems, although it highlighted limitations in the short form of the Dizziness Handicap Inventory that was used to quantify dizziness. Results of an optometry practice recheck study found that oblique cylindrical changes were significantly more likely to be associated with dizziness symptoms than other spectacle lens changes. It also highlighted that optometrists do not ask/record about dizziness symptoms with only 4% of records including “dizziness” as a problem when 38% of patients reported dizziness symptoms when directly asked. All studies highlighted a need for a patient-reported outcome measure to be designed to assess vision-related dizziness. Literature review, interviews with experts and patients and focus groups led to the development of a pilot questionnaire and subsequently a 25-item Vision-Related Dizziness instrument, the VRD-25. This was validated using responses from 223 respondents, with 79 participants completing the questionnaire a second time to provide test-retest data. Two subscales of VRD-12-frequency (VRD-12f) and VRD-13-severity (VRD-13s) were shown to be unidimensional and had good psychometric properties, convergent validity and test-retest repeatability. The VRD-25 is the only patient-reported outcome measure developed to date to assess vision related dizziness and will hopefully provide the platform to further grow this under-researched area that seems likely to provide important clinical information.