People who suffer from neurovisual disorders – diagnosed or otherwise – often feel helpless, hopeless and reconciled to living life with discomfort and pain. Yet as hard as having a neurovisual condition is on adult patients, it’s often even more difficult for children and teens.
The Basics of Vertical Heterophoria
For kids and teens who are already struggling with their self-image and trying to fit in, having a neurovisual condition such as Vertical Heterophoria (VH) that makes them stand out can be extremely disheartening. VH is a binocular vision disorder that occurs when there is a subtle vision misalignment. Even the slightest bit of misalignment triggers the brain to work hard to fix the problem and get things realigned. As a result, the eyes become sore, tired and overworked, which can lead to a variety of uncomfortable or even painful physical symptoms such as headaches and dizziness.
The dizziness can be produced by the most mundane of actions, including shaking or nodding the head, standing up too fast from a seated position, driving on a winding road or even just riding along in the passenger’s seat. In fact, many everyday activities involving movement or reading can produce the dizziness.
The Effect of VH Symptoms on Kids
Unfortunately, symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, nausea and shadowed or double vision can make life very difficult for kids and teens. They often can no longer participate in their favorite activities, such as playing on the playground, skating, riding bikes/skateboards, playing sports and going to amusement parks. Teens with frequent headaches or periodic dizziness might find they have trouble texting, playing video games or participating on social media, all of which mean less time communicating and spending time with friends. As a result, kids of all ages that have VH can begin to suffer socially.
When it comes to school, VH can make reading very difficult. Children with VH often have difficulty reading, frequently losing their place, skipping lines or struggling to make sense of words that appear to be swimming or floating on the page. Because reading is such a fundamental part of learning, and because this has an understandably detrimental effect on overall learning, they will eventually start to suffer academically.
Finding Help for Your Child
Most eye doctors don’t have the appropriate equipment or training to discern the subtle eye misalignments that cause Binocular Vision Dysfunction. Luckily, many VH sufferers are able to make their way to a NeuroVisual Specialist like those here at Vision Specialists of Michigan. Our kind, compassionate doctors are able to help those with neurovisual problems turn their lives around. If you think your child may be suffering from VH, find out by filling out our questionnaire or give us a call at (248) 258-9000 to schedule a complete NeuroVisual Examination. We would be happy to discuss our unique treatment methods, including our use of micro-prism lenses to realign the eyes.