Video: What is VOMS?
The VOMS is a screening tool developed by the experts at UPMC to detect signs and symptoms of a concussion. It stands for Vestibular Ocular Motor Screening and looks at the systems responsible for integrating balance, vision, and movement. It was developed a few years ago, because the tests at the time only focused on balance, and so we would miss some of these other important areas that we needed to assess.
It allows the medical expert to be up to 90 percent accurate in identifying patients with concussion. It also helps to determine the type of concussion a patient has suffered. When we refer to it as a simple test, we mean that the equipment you need to conduct it is very simple. You only need a target with a newspaper size font, a tape measure, and a metronome. With such simple tools, clinicians are now able to identify concussions more accurately because of the VOMS.
The screening tests for five areas of vestibular and ocular motor impairment:
- Smooth pursuits
- Saccadic or rapid eye movements
- Near point of convergence
- Vestibular ocular reflex
- Visual motion sensitivity
The VOMS takes 5 to 10 minutes to administer and may help us identify problems that are not identified in other tests.
If the vestibular and ocular motor problems are identified earlier in the rehabilitation process, it can help us to identify treatments that can be implemented to help patients get better sooner. Used in combination with other measures, the VOMS helps to identify concussion and to determine the best course of treatment for our patients after concussion.