Off-Balance? Klutzy? You Could Have Binocular Vision Dysfunction

To say that someone has a binocular vision dysfunction means that their eyes aren’t aligned correctly. Even a very small misalignment will result in eye strain and overworked muscles as the brain directs the eyes to correct the problem and work together as one again. Eventually the eye muscles get so stressed that the patient starts experiencing a myriad of frightening physical BVD symptoms. The two we’re going to talk about today are clumsiness and vertigo.

The Klutz in the Family

It seems that everybody has at least one clumsy person in their family, someone that can be seen frequently walking into things, bumping into doorways and tripping over their own feet. While this may seem like a harmless and somewhat endearing characteristic, all it takes is one time tripping on the stairs or in the middle of the street for disaster to happen. As it turns out, many people who have always just assumed they are inherently clumsy may actually be suffering from vertical heterophoria (VH).

With vertical heterophoria, the eyes are misaligned, causing the images in one eye to appear higher than in the other. In some cases, one eye can be physically higher than the other as well. When the eyes aren’t at the same level, the visual system is disrupted, affecting the person’s stereo vision – the way that the separate images from each eye are combined into one single image. Faulty stereo vision is what causes people to have poor depth perception and trouble knowing where their bodies are in reference to the world around them. This results in tripping, running into things, and other clumsy behavior.

How Vertigo Leads to Anxiety

VH also interferes with the vestibular system, which can throw off a person’s delicate sense of balance. This can cause people to experience dizziness and vertigo, which is a sensation of tilting, swaying or spinning. They often feel thrown off-balance, like they’re being pulled to one side as they walk. Vertigo can be triggered by a sudden change to the position of the head, and can disappear as quickly as it came. The very unexpectedness of these episodes can lead to a great deal of anxiety, particularly in places with an abundance of bright lighting and visual stimulation, such as malls and supermarkets. A person may also experience vertigo when riding in a car due to the amount of visual stimulation on the sides.

Get a Binocular Vision Exam at Vision Specialists of Michigan

Due to a lack of proper equipment and training, the slight misalignments caused by VH are usually missed during regular eye exams. At Vision Specialists of Michigan, we have the specialized equipment necessary to properly diagnose VH, and also offer a new approach to the treatment of dizziness and vertigo through the use of aligning prismatic lenses. To find out more about this unique treatment method, call our specialists today at (248) 504-2900.


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