It may be your eyes:
When Clumsiness Is More
Than It Seems

When Clumsiness Is More
Than It Seems

It may be your eyes:

If clumsiness has plagued you throughout your life and you often find yourself tripping over things, knocking into doorways and bumping into walls, or having trouble playing sports, you may have a condition known as Vertical Heterophoria (VH). If your clumsiness has reached the point that you’ve started to experience anxiety and stress, not knowing when the next accident will happen, it’s important to seek the help of a trained NeuroVisual Specialist at Vision Specialists of Michigan.

When Clumsiness Is More Than It Seems

How Vertical Heterophoria Affects Balance

Vertical Heterophoria is a Binocular Vision Dysfunction characterized by a subtle vertical misalignment of the eyes. This misalignment affects the way in which the eyes work together, making it difficult for the brain to merge the images sent from each eye individually into one clear, focused picture. Deficient stereo vision can in turn lead to bad depth perception and spatial awareness. With stereo vision, depth perception and spatial awareness all lacking, it’s no wonder that people with VH are often perceived as clumsy or klutzy.

Signs of VH in Children

Children as well as adults can be affected by VH, though it’s often harder to recognize and diagnose due to the fact that many kids don’t realize they have a vision problem because they don’t know any different. It’s up to parents, teachers and caregivers to be on the lookout for signs that the children in their lives might be experiencing this condition or other possible vision problems. Some signs to watch for include:


Clumsiness in childhood as kids grow into their bodies is not at all unusual, but frequent and extreme bouts of clumsiness may indicate shadowed or double vision, as well as blurred vision.


Children who have vision problems often spend a good part of the day squinting and straining in an effort to see the board and other things in the classroom clearly. This can understandably lead to headaches, so if your child frequently complains of their head hurting and seems unusually cranky after a long day at school, it may be time for a NeuroVisual Examination.

Lack of coordination.

While young children are often uncoordinated, by the time they hit school age, they should be fairly adept at activities that call for good hand-eye or hand-foot coordination (like catching or kicking a ball). If these activities continue to be a struggle, it could be a sign of VH.

Find Answers at Vision Specialists of Michigan

At Vision Specialists of Michigan, we have the knowledge and experience necessary to treat and provide our patients relief from the troubling symptoms of VH and other binocular vision problems like TBI and headaches. To find out more about how we do this, give us a call at
(248) 258-9000. You can also complete our online BVD questionnaire.

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Tagged With: All, Balance, clumsiness,

It may be your eyes

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It may be your eyes

  • American Academy Optometry
  • American Optometric Association
  • Michigan Optometric Association
  • VEDA
  • Neuro Optometry Rehabilitation Association

Dr. Sandy DiPonio earned her optometry degree from Illinois College of Optometry in 1996. She is a highly skilled and experienced eye care professional dedicated to giving her patients of all ages excellent and compassionate care. She has a wide variety of experience in binocular vision, pediatric and adult eye care, ocular disease and contact lens fitting. She strives to provide each of her patients the best quality of life they can achieve with their vision through knowledge and education of treatment options.

Dr. DiPonio is a member of the American Optometric Society and Michigan Optometric Society.

Dr. Sally Hoey has been practicing optometry since graduating from Michigan College of Optometry in 2001. During her time in optometry school, she developed an interest in binocular vision, culminating in a senior thesis involving binocular vision.

Prior to joining Vision Specialists of Michigan, Dr. Hoey specialized in the diagnosis and treatment of vision-related learning problems as well as other binocular vision disorders. Her other areas of interest include specialty contact lens fittings and treating dry eye. Dr. Hoey strives to provide her patients with clear, comfortable vision while meeting their individual needs at the same time.

Dr. Hoey had the opportunity to provide eye care on an optometric mission trip to Guyana, South America and vision screenings at a local medical clinic. She is a member of the American Optometric Association, Michigan Optometric Association, Metropolitan Detroit Optometric Society and the College of Optometrists in Vision Development.

Dr. Jennifer Place graduated with honors from Michigan College of Optometry in 2001.

Before joining Vision Specialists of Michigan, she specialized in treating pediatric and adult patients with binocular vision disorders and vision-related learning problems, as well as fitting specialty contact lenses and managing various types of ocular disease. She enjoys working with patients with unique visual needs, and she takes great pride in providing all patients with highly customized care.

Dr. Place has volunteered for Opening Eyes, a program that provides eye exams to the athletes of the Michigan Special Olympics, and she participated in an international mission to St. Lucia to provide eye care to those in need. Dr. Place is a member of the Detroit Optometric Society, the Michigan Optometric Association, the American Optometric Association, the College of Vision Development, and the Optometric Extension Program Foundation.

Dr. Mary Jo Ference has been practicing optometry since 1990 upon graduating from Ferris State University- Michigan College of Optometry, and is certified in Low Vision Rehabilitation. She has worked at Sinai-Grace Hospital systems for over 20 years before joining Vision Specialists of Michigan in 2013 to work with binocular vision disorders. Her clinical areas of expertise include visual rehabilitation of pediatric and adult patients who have suffered from brain trauma, injury or disease. She has taught both optometry and ophthalmology residents at Sinai Grace Hospital. Dr. Ference has sat on numerous boards, including Sinai Grace Hospital, Berry Out-Patient Surgical Center, and Seedlings Braille Books for the Blind. She is actively involved in area school districts to provide education, training and access for students, teachers, OT’s and PT’s to eye care service rehabilitation information. Dr. Ference has lectured extensively nationally and internationally.

Dr. Debby Feinberg began practicing Optometry in Oakland County in 1983, upon graduating from Illinois College of Optometry. She joined her father, Dr. Paul C. Feinberg, at Mall Optical Center, which was located in Summit Place Mall.

Since 1995 Dr. Feinberg has been developing the field of NeuroVisual Medicine which is the optometric subspecialty that identifies and treats neurological / medical symptoms that originate directly or indirectly in the visual system.

Dr. Feinberg has been performing pioneering work with Binocular Vision Dysfunction (BVD), a condition where a vision misalignment (frequently subtle) creates difficulties with the two eyes working together to create a single 3-dimensional image, and difficulties with the two eyes following that image as it moves.

The symptoms caused by BVD are not usually associated with problems with the visual system, and include headache, dizziness, anxiety and panic, persistent post-concussive symptoms, gait instability and balance problems, frequent falls, neck pain, motion sickness, nausea, and reading and learning problems.

In 2004. Dr. Feinberg established Vision Specialists of Birmingham, specifically designing the practice to accommodate the needs of the NeuroVisual Medicine patient.

In 2011, the office moved to its current location in Bloomfield Hills and updated its name to Vision Specialists of Michigan.