This article appeared in the Veteran Connect Newsletter on October 10, 2013. Read this article online
Many of our military personnel suffer head injuries while on deployment. Exposures to blasts are a leading cause of Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) among active duty military personnel in war zones. The U.S. Military Casualty Statistics report a total 253,330 TBI cases between January 1, 2000 and August 20, 2012. Undoubtedly, many cases go unreported as mild or misdiagnosed.
Fifteen to 20 percent of TBI patients experience persistent post-concussive symptoms (dizziness, headaches, anxiety, neck pain, reading and concentrating difficulties) which traditionally have proven difficult to treat. Vertical Heterophoria (VH – a form of binocular vision dysfunction) appears to be causative of these symptoms in approximately 50 percent of these patients.
Vertical Heterophoria is an eye condition referring to a small amount of vertical eye misalignment, which the brain corrects by directing the eye muscles to properly reposition the eyes. When focusing on an object, one eye would look slightly higher or lower than the other eye.
The good news is that nearly half of all TBI patients who experience prolonged post-concussive symptoms can be helped with glasses with prismatic lenses and this treatment with prismatic lenses reduces the post-concussive symptoms by 80 percent.
Dr. Debby and the staff at Vision Specialists of Michigan have developed a very detailed and specialized neurovisual evaluation, which allows for the accurate diagnosis and treatment of Vertical Heterophoria. Using realigning prismatic spectacle lenses, the strain and fatigue within the visual system is reduced or eliminated. Patients notice significant improvement in their symptoms during their first office visit. Improvement continues over the course of several visits as the prismatic prescription is fine-tuned and customized for the individual.
To determine if you or a loved one suffers from Vertical Heterophoria, visit Vision Specialists of Michigan. Compare your symptoms with the extensive list and fill out the specialized questionnaire developed by the researchers at Vision Specialists of Michigan. Dr. Debby will score your answers and contact you if you would benefit from her services. It is a simple yet comprehensive eye exam.
Dr. Debby recently published “If the Walls of My Exam Room Could Talk“. This book contains 40 stories about people with TBIs and Vertical Heterophoria (VH) who had persistent post-concussive symptoms; and when their VH was treated with special glasses containing prism lenses, their persistent post-concussive symptoms markedly reduced or resolved. Click here for more details about her book.