Human sight is possible because of an incredibly complex system of interacting parts working together to form one of our most remarkable senses. Sometimes, however, certain parts of this intricate system can become out of balance, causing a shift in the alignment of the eyes that results in strained eye muscles. When this happens, certain symptoms can appear, such as blurred or double vision, headaches and dizziness – just to name a few. Sometimes people with headache symptoms mistakenly believe they have sinus headaches, when what they really have is a binocular vision problem.
What Causes Binocular Vision Dysfunction?
The eyes are controlled by the extraocular muscles – the muscles which enable our eyes to move up, down and all around. These muscles are directed by signals from the brain, which controls the eyes and directs them to focus the images the eyes see individually into one clear image. Binocular Vision Dysfunction (BVD) occurs when the eyes move out of alignment with each other, making it impossible for them to form focused images. As a result of this misalignment, the eye muscles become sore and stressed as the brain works to correct this problem, leading to the previously mentioned symptoms of headaches, dizziness and blurred vision, among other things. The most common type of this condition is known as Vertical Heterophoria (VH).
How Symptoms of VH Can Be Mistaken for Sinus Headaches
When the eyes are no longer aligned vertically, the brain forces the extraocular muscles to work overtime to correct this problem in an effort to avoid double vision. The longer the muscles are compelled to do this, the more fatigued and overworked they become, at which point the symptoms of VH start to come to the forefront. The overworked eye muscles cause head pain, which can be focused around the eyes, sinuses, forehead and temples. This pain is very similar to that felt with a sinus infection or headache, which is why many patients who unknowingly have VH are misdiagnosed as having chronic sinus headaches.
Additional Symptoms of Vertical Heterophoria
Binocular vision disorders like VH can cause a number of other issues, including:
Motion sickness, nausea and poor depth perception.
Anxiety when in a crowd or in large, open buildings with high ceilings.
At Vision Specialists of Michigan, our doctors address the vision-related symptoms of BVD and VH with a unique treatment method: micro-prism lenses. These lenses work to align the images seen by the eyes, so the extraocular muscles don’t have to strain to do so.
Make an Appointment Today
If you’ve seen multiple doctors and tried various treatments for your sinus headaches without receiving relief, the problem may not be your sinuses at all. It could be your eyes! To find out if you may be able to bid farewell to your headaches forever, you need to give Vision Specialists of Michigan a call at (208) 504-2900 or complete our BVD questionnaire.