September 25, 2023


  1. Concussion, a form of mild traumatic brain injury (TBI), requires sophisticated tools for accurate diagnosis and management due to its wide spectrum of symptoms.
  2. The Vestibular/Ocular Motor Screening (VOMS) tool is a rapid, cost-effective, and evidence-based assessment method for identifying vestibular and ocular motor impairments after a concussion.
  3. The VOMS examination enables the identification of specific symptoms, creation of individualized treatment plans, tracking of recovery progress, and guidance on safe return to activities.
  4. In addition to aiding patient care, the VOMS tool is invaluable for concussion research, contributing to the development of effective treatment strategies.
  5. Implementing tools like VOMS in concussion management enhances the quality of care and promotes safer recovery for patients.


Concussion, a form of mild traumatic brain injury (TBI), is a growing concern within the fields of sports medicine, neurology, and primary healthcare. With a broad spectrum of symptoms and severity, diagnosing and managing concussions can pose significant challenges. Amidst the complexity, the Vestibular/Ocular Motor Screening (VOMS) tool has emerged as a vital player in concussion assessment and management, contributing to the more nuanced understanding of individual patient needs.

Understanding Concussions

A concussion results from a blow to the head or body that triggers a rapid rotational or linear movement of the brain within the skull, leading to biochemical changes in brain cells. Symptoms can vary widely from headaches, confusion, dizziness, and blurred vision, to cognitive and emotional disturbances.

Given the individual variability of these symptoms, clinicians often find it challenging to diagnose concussions solely based on patient reports. As such, objective clinical tools are necessary to identify and quantify the effects of a concussion, one of which is the VOMS examination.

VOMS: An Overview

The Vestibular/Ocular Motor Screening (VOMS) is a rapid, cost-effective, and evidence-based tool designed to evaluate vestibular and ocular motor impairments and symptoms following a concussion. The VOMS examination includes assessments of smooth pursuits, horizontal and vertical saccades, near point of convergence (NPC) distance, horizontal and vertical vestibular ocular reflex (VOR), and visual motion sensitivity (VMS).

The Importance of VOMS Examination

  1. Identification of Symptoms: The VOMS examination aids in identifying visual and vestibular symptoms that patients may not notice or may struggle to articulate. Early identification of these symptoms facilitates timely intervention, promoting a safer and faster recovery.
  2. Individualized Treatment: By revealing the specific systems affected by the concussion, the VOMS assessment enables clinicians to devise personalized treatment plans. For instance, if the VOMS test reveals issues with the vestibular system, treatment may involve vestibular therapy exercises designed to recalibrate the balance system.
  3. Monitoring Progress: VOMS serves as a valuable tool to monitor recovery progress. Regular examinations can track the resolution of symptoms over time, offering objective evidence of improvement or the need for additional or adjusted treatment strategies.
  4. Safe Return to Activities: In sports medicine, the VOMS examination can guide decisions about when an athlete can safely return to play. It ensures athletes have fully recovered before resuming high-risk activities, thus minimizing the chance of re-injury or long-term sequelae.
  5. Research and Development: VOMS has also proven invaluable in concussion research. By offering a standard measure of concussion symptoms, VOMS contributes to our evolving understanding of concussion pathology, thereby informing the development of even more effective treatment strategies.


Concussions, while often mild in the initial impact, can have lasting repercussions if not properly identified and managed. Tools such as the VOMS examination play a pivotal role in the multifaceted approach to concussion management, allowing for precise diagnosis, individualized treatment planning, monitoring of recovery, and safe return to activities. By understanding and utilizing such tools, healthcare providers can enhance the quality of care for patients with concussions and contribute to ongoing advances in the field.

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