The Relationship Between Brain Injury & Vertical Heterophoria

With school back in session and practices for fall sports beginning, now is a good time to discuss concussions. A concussion, which is a mild traumatic brain injury (TBI), occurs as a result of whiplash or the head sustaining a violent blow, both of which can occur during contact sports like football, hockey, lacrosse and soccer. In fact, of the more than 1.7 million people who will experience a traumatic brain injury this year, 30% of those will be sustained by children and teens participating in contact sports and recreational activities.

How Concussion Can Change the Brain 

When a person’s head is struck sharply or jerked quickly back and forth, whether from being tackled in a football game or being involved in a car accident, the brain shifts within the skull, bruising the brain and causing a concussion. This TBI can affect the way the brain functions, changing how it receives and interprets visual signals. These changes cause the symptoms of a mild traumatic brain injury or concussion, which can show up anywhere from a few hours or days after the injury, and can last from a few days to a few months. The following are symptoms of a mild traumatic brain injury or concussion:

  • Confusion & anxiety

  • Impaired memory & concentration

  • Double vision

  • Light sensitivity

  • Decreased reaction time

TBI and VH

When mild traumatic brain injury or concussion symptoms last longer than three months, chances are that the patient may be suffering from post-concussive syndrome, and it is very common that a binocular vision dysfunction known as vertical heterophoria (VH) is part of the problem. The brain begins giving off faulty signals to the eyes, which throws off their alignment, causing the eye muscles to strain and overwork themselves to fix the problem. This results in headaches, dizziness, double vision, balance problems and other issues that can make life truly miserable.

Often, people with VH and other binocular vision disorders are misdiagnosed and treated with medications that do nothing to address the underlying problem. Fortunately, BVD treatment by a NeuroVisual Specialist at Vision Specialists of Michigan can provide quick relief for patients  who have concussion-related VH.

After an extensive NeuroVisual examination has been performed to verify that VH is indeed the problem, our NeuroVisual Specialists in Bloomfield Hills, MI, will then prescribe of pair of glasses with customized prismatic aligning lenses. In many cases, in their first visit to Vision Specialists of Michigan, our patients experience significant relief from their headaches and dizziness, which ease or dissipate as the corrective lenses move the images back into the proper position and the strain on the eyes is relieved.

Get Relief – Contact Vision Specialists of Michigan

If you or a loved one has experienced a recent concussion and may be suffering from VH, give our specialists a call today at (248) 504-2900 to schedule a NeuroVisual evaluation. We look forward to caring for you.


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