Is a simple walk down the hall a struggle for you? Do you regularly bump into walls or trip down the stairs? Though most people assume this is mere clumsiness, often there is an underlying medical condition present known as vertical heterophoria (VH), which is a Binocular Vision Dysfunction that affects how the eyes work together. With VH, one eye is seeing an image slightly higher than the other eye, making it extremely difficult for the eyes to work together to focus and see in stereo vision (the combination of the two images the eyes are seeing into one 3D image). This, in turn, throws off depth perception and spatial awareness, and can make people with undiagnosed VH seem like they’re unusually clumsy.
In addition to clumsiness, VH patients also often experience headaches and dizziness. The stress and uncertainty of not knowing when dizzy spells or bouts of clumsiness are going to strike and lead to possible injury often leads patients to suffer from anxiety, as well. This is what happened to Maddi, one of Dr. Debby’s patients.
“Last Halloween – before I got my glasses, anxiety and headaches were my biggest problem. I couldn’t walk down the hallway in a line without bumping into people and tripping down stairs (you know, like the last three steps). Then, we found Vision Specialists, was fit with prism glasses and I now have fewer headaches. The anxiety has decreased a ton. Just the other day I went to a haunted house with my friends – an amazing experience. I could tell where I was going and didn’t have to look down to make sure I wasn’t going to fall down a ramp or stairs. I could walk in a straight line! It was an incredible time. I have amazing friends who support me through anything and the Vision Specialists team who also support me!”
Treating VH with Aligning Lenses
Maddi’s experience has been repeated over and over as people who have been seeking relief from various doctors, medications and therapies with no success find Dr. Debby and the other professionals at Vision Specialists of Michigan. The NeuroVisual Examination our specialists perform every day enable us to diagnose and treat vertical heterophoria and other binocular vision disorders, providing relief for patients like Maddi. For questions or concerns about the diagnosis and treatment of VH, call us anytime at (248) 258-9000.