When Clumsiness Is More Than It Seems

If clumsiness has plagued you throughout your life and you often find yourself tripping over things, knocking into doorways and bumping into walls, or having trouble playing sports, you may have a condition known as Vertical Heterophoria (VH). If your clumsiness has reached the point that you’ve started to experience anxiety and stress, not knowing when the next accident will happen, it’s important to seek the help of a trained NeuroVisual Specialist at Vision Specialists of Michigan.

When Clumsiness Is More Than It Seems

How Vertical Heterophoria Affects Balance

Vertical Heterophoria is a Binocular Vision Dysfunction characterized by a subtle vertical misalignment of the eyes. This misalignment affects the way in which the eyes work together, making it difficult for the brain to merge the images sent from each eye individually into one clear, focused picture. Deficient stereo vision can in turn lead to bad depth perception and spatial awareness. With stereo vision, depth perception and spatial awareness all lacking, it’s no wonder that people with VH are often perceived as clumsy or klutzy.

Signs of VH in Children

Children as well as adults can be affected by VH, though it’s often harder to recognize and diagnose due to the fact that many kids don’t realize they have a vision problem because they don’t know any different. It’s up to parents, teachers and caregivers to be on the lookout for signs that the children in their lives might be experiencing this condition or other possible vision problems. Some signs to watch for include:

  • Clumsiness. Clumsiness in childhood as kids grow into their bodies is not at all unusual, but frequent and extreme bouts of clumsiness may indicate shadowed or double vision, as well as blurred vision.

  • Headaches. Children who have vision problems often spend a good part of the day squinting and straining in an effort to see the board and other things in the classroom clearly. This can understandably lead to headaches, so if your child frequently complains of their head hurting and seems unusually cranky after a long day at school, it may be time for a NeuroVisual Examination.

  • Lack of coordination. While young children are often uncoordinated, by the time they hit school age, they should be fairly adept at activities that call for good hand-eye or hand-foot coordination (like catching or kicking a ball). If these activities continue to be a struggle, it could be a sign of VH.

Find Answers at Vision Specialists of Michigan

At Vision Specialists of Michigan, we have the knowledge and experience necessary to treat and provide our patients relief from the troubling symptoms of VH and other binocular vision problems like TBI and headaches. To find out more about how we do this, give us a call at (248) 504-2900. You can also complete our online BVD questionnaire.


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