If you suffer from frequent dizziness, headaches or anxiety, it’s entirely possible that these symptoms could be stemming from your eyes. Many people who have to endure these and similar symptoms have a relatively unknown binocular vision disorder called vertical heterophoria. Symptoms can also include light sensitivity, neck pain, head tilt, facial pain, an unsteady feeling while walking, and motion sickness. In their search for answers, patients often seek out specialists such as neurologists, ENTs and ophthalmologists. Then, when all the tests come back normal, they’re sent to a psychiatrist!
Fortunately, people who suffer from VH don’t need psychiatric care – they just need the proper aligning prismatic correction found in a simple pair of eyeglasses.
My Journey to Treating VH
I came to learn about vertical heterophoria while reading an optometric journal about Dr. Debby Feinberg. Dr. Debby is known as the headache guru of Michigan, and people travel from all over the world to be seen by her. She’s currently doing research with the pain management specialists at the University of Michigan, and has been published in a number of medical journals. I thought her work was so interesting that I emailed her. One thing led to another and I’m now proud to say that I, Dr. Cheryl Israeloff, am one of the first doctors in the country to study and train directly with Dr. Debby in her very specific and effective technique for diagnosing and treating VH.
It Was the Eyes All Along
Like Dr. Debby, I love being able to help people who think they have nowhere else to turn. One of my most gratifying cases was a woman who came to me for a routine eye exam complaining of headaches around her eyes. For years, she had been told that she had sinus headaches. The pain started 29 years ago when her son was born. (Often, symptoms begin after a major stress on the body, such as pregnancy, illness or brain injury.) I started asking her other questions and had her fill out one of our Vertical Heterophoria Symptom Questionnaires, which help to determine if the symptoms are being caused by a vision problem. Needless to say, she scored very high.
I accordingly treated her, and after a month of wearing prescription glasses with aligning prismatic lenses, she came back for her follow-up visit a new person, reporting that her “sinus headaches” were gone. It was her eyes all along! She started to cry and gave me a hug. I was so happy knowing that I was able to change her life for the better.
If you have recurring headaches, migraines or any of the other symptoms mentioned above, you may be suffering from VH. Please don’t hesitate to call the Neuro Visual Center of New York as soon as possible at (516) 224-4888. We want to help you get your life back!