The way in which the brain directs all the intricate systems in the human body is truly amazing. These systems all work in conjunction with one another; none of them operate independently. One example of this codependent relationship is the way the visual and vestibular systems work together to keep our bodies upright and perfectly balanced. From the time we learn to walk, balancing our bodies becomes second nature, something we do automatically without even thinking about it. Sometimes, however, the connection between these systems is interrupted, an occurrence which can wreak havoc on your sense of balance and result in dizziness and nausea, headaches, motion sickness, vertigo and more.
The Workings of VH
Symptoms such as these are clear indicators of a binocular vision disorder known as Vertical Heterophoria (VH). VH is a condition where there is a very subtle vertical misalignment of the eyes which the brain automatically seeks to correct by forcing the eyes back into the proper position. The unfortunate side effect of this action by the brain is that the eye muscles become fatigued, strained and sore. The fatigue can sometimes cause the eye muscles and the eyes to quiver, which in turn results in the vibrating, shaking and/or shimmering of the images in your visual field. This makes the brain believe that the world around you is moving, which can cause a variety of balance issues to develop.
The Link Between the Visual & Vestibular Systems
When the visual system isn’t working correctly, the vestibular system suffers as well. It is this disconnect between the two systems that causes the previously mentioned symptoms of VH, as well as blurred vision, balance issues and even head tilt, which is another way the body compensates for eye misalignments. This is usually done subconsciously as a way to correct shadowed or double vision and realign the images that are off-kilter. Over time, this unnatural head position will result in intense chronic pain in the neck and shoulders. In extreme cases, prolonged head tilt can also throw the neck out of alignment.
Overcoming VH With Micro-Prism Lenses
The innovative treatment process at Vision Specialists of Michigan starts with a complete NeuroVisual Exam using our specialized equipment, followed by the prescribing of custom micro-prism lenses set within a pair of ordinary eyeglasses. The function of the prisms in these lenses is to correct any eye misalignments; in fact, they often do their job so well that patients’ symptoms of VH are markedly reduced or sometimes even completely eliminated within minutes of trying on their specialized eyewear.
Through the power of micro-prism lenses, the doctors at Vision Specialists of Michigan are able to provide relief for patients who have been searching for answers for months and sometimes even years. To learn more about the connection between the visual and vestibular systems and find out if you have VH, give us a call at (248) 258-9000, or go to our website and fill out our questionnaire.