One of the things I really enjoy as a neurovisual specialist is hearing from previous patients that I was able to help. As such, I’m happy to share this update on a patient I wrote about previously.
This young woman, who’s a very good student and athlete, was suffering from debilitating headaches which were increasing in intensity every day. This had all begun after a bout of mononucleosis. She went through every test, but not one of her doctors thought to have her eyes checked! Thank goodness, her mom is a patient of mine. Diagnosis: vertical heterophoria.
What is Vertical Heterophoria?
There are many types of binocular vision disorders, and vertical heterophoria (VH) is one of them. Symptoms of VH occur when the eyes aren’t aligned correctly. Whenever a misalignment is present, even if it’s very slight, the brain works to correct this problem by forcing the eyes to line up and work together. This constant struggle between the eyes and the brain, day in and day out, puts a tremendous amount of strain on the eye muscles, causing them to become tired and overworked.
Any additional health issues that may arise, such as an inner ear problem, only exacerbate the problem. I believe this young lady’s illness put added stress on her eye muscles. The mono brought out the underlying binocular vision disorder, and her eye muscles just couldn’t work as efficiently as before. I am happy to report, however, that since receiving her prism glasses, she hasn’t had one headache!
Multiple People, Multiple Symptoms
It’s important to keep in mind that every patient is unique, and not everyone is going to experience VH is the same way. One person with a binocular vision dysfunction may experience headaches or double vision symptoms, while another with the same problem could suffer from dizziness and nausea. Sometimes it can be a combination of multiple symptoms.
Other common symptoms of vertical heterophoria include:
- Motion sickness
- Not feeling steady on your feet
- Head tilt
- A feeling of heaviness or pressure in the head
Don’t Wait to Get Help
If you suspect you have vertical heterophoria or another binocular vision problem, please reach out to us here at the Neuro Visual Center of New York for help. Give us a call at (516) 224-4888 to schedule a complete neurovisual evaluation.