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Home » BVD » Headaches, Dizziness, Motion Sickness? It Could Be Vertical heterophoria

Headaches, Dizziness, Motion Sickness? It Could Be Vertical heterophoria

Diagnosis and treatment for this binocular vision dysfunction in Cedar Park, TX

Vertical heterophoria (VH) is a type of binocular vision dysfunction (BVD) caused by a misalignment of your eyes. And it can result from even a very slight misalignment that isn’t immediately noticeable to you or to people looking at you. Basically, when you look at the world through misaligned eyes, your muscles take corrective measures to help you see clearly and in focus. This automatic reaction strains your eye muscles and leads to a slew of uncomfortable symptoms, including headaches and dizziness.

Symptoms of vertical heterophoria

blurry visionThe symptoms of VH may not be constant and can be intermittent throughout your day. In fact, you may feel perfectly fine one minute, only to feel a minute later like you just got off a thrilling high-speed, high-altitude spinner at Six Flags.

Some symptoms reported by our Austin patients with binocular vision dysfunction are:

  • Dizziness
  • Pounding headaches
  • Nausea
  • Feeling unsteady when walking; inability to walk straight
  • Motion sickness
  • Pain when moving the eyes
  • Anxiety when driving – many patients with a binocular vision dysfunction feel anxious when driving. (This may be due to the perception of stationary objects in your peripheral vision as moving images. Dizziness may also give you the sensation of rolling backwards, even though your foot is on the brake.)
  • Uneasiness when in a space with tall ceilings
  • Sensory overload; disorientation due to an excess of visual stimuli

Generally, certain actions or positions bring on these symptoms, such as:

  • Moving your head from side to side
  • Riding in the passenger seat of a car
  • Rounding curves while in a car
  • Driving at rapid speeds while watching other cars zip by on your side
  • Quickly standing from a seated position
  • Straightening up rapidly after bending over

Misdiagnosis of vertical heterophoria is common

Many of the symptoms of VH are not problems that you would naturally associate with a vision condition. As a result, misdiagnosis is typical, and patients are often told they have migraine disorder, an inner ear disorder, vertigo, or even MS. Other misdiagnoses include being told that the symptoms are due to certain foods you eat or insufficient sleep.

In addition, many people can easily pass a standard vision screening even if they have vertical heterophoria. That’s why only a specially trained optometrist can diagnose VH, such as our experienced eye doctor for binocular vision dysfunction in Austin, TX. Dr. Jennifer Catalasan is one of three optometrists who specializes in BVD in Texas!

Diagnosis and treatment for binocular vision dysfunction in Austin, TX

If you have been experiencing headaches and feel that you’ve been “off-balance”, we strongly urge you to book an eye exam. There’s no reason to suffer with the symptoms of VH or any other neuro-visual disorder. Our optometrist can provide you with a detailed, dependable diagnosis and effective treatment in our advanced Austin eye care center.