Patients with vertical heterophoria often do not know they have this condition. In many cases, they have been suffering for years prior to getting proper diagnosis and treatment. Vertical heterophoria is a type of binocular vision dysfunction that occurs when the eyes are not in complete alignment, and can cause eye strain by overusing eye muscles to compensate for the difference. This creates symptoms that you may not recognize as stemming from eye strain and misalignment. This facial asymmetry can be very small but still creates eye strain. While there is no loss of vision, there is prolonged tension and strain on the eyes, leading to headaches, discomfort and dizziness.
Symptoms of Vertical Heterophoria
Below are common symptoms you can experience when you have vertical heterophoria. Primary symptoms include:
• Headaches (often intense migraines) that may start as early as the age of five or six years old. These headaches can extend from the forehead to the back of the head.
• Feeling off-balance.
• Unsteady motion.
Additional symptoms include:
• A feeling of heaviness at the crown of your head. This unpleasant sensation can be similar to sinus pain.
• Aching in your shoulders and neck.
• Pain when you move your eyes.
There are certain situations that instigate symptoms of vertical heterophoria, such as sudden movement from sitting to standing; straightening up the body from a bent-over position; travel in a car as a passenger; moving the head from side to side; rounding curves when you are in a car; and driving at fast speeds while sensing the movement of other cars around you.
Determining whether you have vertical heterophoria or not requires a professional diagnosis, as the symptoms can be similar to other conditions such as MS, Meniere’s disease and inner ear disorders. Dr. Cheryl Israeloff at the Neuro Visual Center of New York offers careful and thorough testing and an examination to determine if you have vertical heterophoria.
Effects From These Symptoms
When a person experiences intense headaches, dizziness, pain and other symptoms of vertical heterophoria as listed above, panic and anxiety often set in. This anxiety often translates to fears about driving, being in crowds and being in large open spaces with a lot of visual stimuli. A person with such fears tends to become less social, withdrawn, afraid and unable to live or perform in a healthy, productive manner.
Get Help at Neuro Visual Center of New York
If you or your loved one is suffering from the symptoms of vertical heterophoria, seek out professional help. At the Neuro Visual Center of New York, we can evaluate your condition through a full professional examination and then determine whether you are a suitable candidate for prismatic lenses. Prismatic lenses can counteract the effects of vertical heterophoria, restoring your comfort, reducing your anxiety and enabling you to keep doing things you love with confidence. Call us at (516) 224-4888 to learn more about what we can do for you.