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Anxiety from Vertical Heterophoria or Superior Oblique Palsy

Anxiety affects nearly 30% of the adult population (at some point in one’s lifetime). While many people could be suffering from a visual problem causing their anxiety, often the immediate response it to run to medications.

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Even with 20/20 vision, you may still suffer from BVD.

Not every visual problem is tied to blurry vision. Binocular vision dysfunction, in fact, is a common cause behind anxiety for many people, both children and adults. Anxiety is often one of the indicators used to identify a patient with BVD. Children, on the other hand, often face binocular vision dysfunction in their early years as their eyes develop new skills. Although BVD typically doesn’t last very long once a child has grown older, children with an eye misalignment often grow up living with binocular vision dysfunction.

Patients who struggle with binocular vision dysfunction often will develop other symptoms like anxiety, fear, and even panic attacks.

Certain traumatic events like a concussion or a car accident have a high probability of damaging the visual system. Nearly half of the brain’s activity involves the visual system, so any head injury can disrupt one’s visual skills. It’s no surprise that patients after a traumatic brain injury (TBI) face anxiety as well.

Why does my vision problem lead to Anxiety?

nathaniel chang 298253 unsplashGenerally, when the body undergoes stress, especially with added eye strain and mental fatigue, a person can feel agitated, nervous, and exhausted. One may feel uneasy or worried regarding an important event coming up, such as a math test, important meeting, waiting for a phone call, or merely trying to catch a bus. Since your vision is constantly playing a pivotal role in your daily activities, any vision problems will multiply this sense of unease or stress.

When anxiety caused by binocular vision remains untreated, people grow up thinking that it's normal for them to feel exhausted and disoriented in crowded areas. Over years, the excessive stress on the brain could lead to migraine headaches, vertigo, and often feeling lightheaded.

In order to reduce these symptoms, people with binocular vision dysfunction will tend to lose focus or lack concentration. They may cover their eyes to block all visual input when they feel overwhelmed. Unfortunately, headaches caused by BVD are hard to cure. Without guiding the brain to resolve the underlying problem, headaches will recur over and over again.

As these issues are subtle and hard to pinpoint, BVD or vertical heterophoria requires a specialist to treat accurately. Even other practitioners like neurologists can fail to identify binocular vision dysfunction as the root of the problem. It's simply not in their area of expertise or considerations. Instead of checking the visual system, practitioners may recommend nerve blocking injections, headache medications, or head MRIs to check for brain damage.

Treating Anxiety Caused by Binocular Vision Dysfunction

While a new pair of eyeglasses sounds like a strange solution, don't be fooled. Dr. Catalasan, our binocular vision dysfunction exprt, employs sophisticated micro prisms in lenses to address a visual misalignment.

Not only do patients start to notice difference in their vision, but one of the amazing aspects after patients finally adjust to their new glasses is how they can identify what led to their anxiety. The double vision, blurriness, eye strain, and other symptoms simply fall away, and their visual world finally achieves what is truly normal vision.

Many people who suffer from BVD often fail to recognize they have poor vision. Double vision or moving letters and words were simply how they saw the world. When patients consult with a specialist like Dr. Jennifer Catalasan to diagnose their symptoms, there's often a link to their dizziness or anxiety with binocular vision dysfunction.

If you suffer from anxiety and want to learn more about binocular vision dysfunction, we’ve created online questionnaires to help our patients perform their own self evaluations. As soon as a patient submits to us their answers, we can check to see if there's a correlation of symptoms, and whether they are a strong candidate for a BVD consultation with our optometrist.

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| | | | Hutto | Kyle | Leander | Pflugerville | San Marcos and the state of TX