Vertical Heterophoria: The Cause of Headache, Nausea & Dizziness When Driving

Vertical heterophoria happens when the eyes are not properly aligned and the muscles of the eyes are strained and overused. And this may lead to some of its signs such as nausea, headaches, or even dizziness while driving. This is why, if you have been feeling off-balance recently, it may not be because of an unhealthy diet or overtime work but it may be because of Vertical Heterophoria. To let you know more about this condition, here are some of the facts you need to learn about it.

Triggers of Vertical Heterophoria.

If you have Vertical Heterophoria (VH), you may be experiencing signs and symptoms of it all throughout the day. In fact, you may feel 100 percent all right and then you will suddenly become nauseous.

The following are some factors that could be the reason to trigger Vertical Heterophoria:

  • rounding curves while driving a car
  • standing up fast from a seated position
  • rapidly straightening after bending over
  • moving your head side by side or up and down
  • full speed drives with other cars zooming alongside
  • looking up at high ceilings in large areas such as malls, airports and supermarkets.

You may also be nauseous and get a feeling of dizziness while driving when you encounter the said triggers. You might also have an unstable walking stride when you have VH. You may realize that when you walk down a corridor, it seems like that you are drifting, or being pulled into the step of someone else, like a magnet, when walking next to them. However, these signs are also shown by people with inner ear illnesses. For this reason, you must undergo a thorough test of your binocular system. It is vital that you choose an eye doctor that is trained in Neuro Visual Medicine to get a correct diagnosis – a simple routine eye examination cannot diagnose this problem.

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Vertical Heterophoria shows symptoms of pain in the shoulder, head, and neck.

Vertical Heterophoria also comes with other associated signs other than nausea. You may experience headache (specifically in your temples) and a pain at the back of your head. Another sign to watch out for is the pain every time you attempt to move your eyes, alongside with a heavy feeling or pressure on your head’s crown. This pressure is similar to sinus pain, where the feeling of throbbing finds its way to your jaw.

People with Vertical Heterophoria may encounter driving issues such as dizziness while driving.

When you are driving a car or any kind of vehicle it will need focus and excellent eye-hand coordination. However, this may become hard for those people who have a problem with their vision. Most patients with Vertical Heterophoria have difficulty driving or have anxiety when they experience the following:

  • Sees stationary things as moving images at the edges of their vision
  • Having a hard time in going to a full stop at important stops and signs
  • Nausea that makes it appear that the sign is moving or the vehicle is going backward even if the foot is on the brake

Dizziness while driving as a result of the anxiety that Vertical Heterophoria gives

  • Perturbed feeling while inside a room with high ceilings (this may lead to having an overload or disorientation of the sensory)

Apart from driving, patients with Vertical Heterophoria may also have difficulty reading and comprehending it. In addition, persons with Vertical Heterophoria are also highly sensitive to light, and the same time, they also experience overlap, blurred, or double vision.

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Vertical Heterophoria may be inborn.

The sign and symptoms may not be seen during the first few years. It will gradually develop over the years. This is because the eyes and body attempts to compensate it as you grow up. By then, people with VH may think that the signs they are experiencing is just normal or may be caused by other conditions.

There are certain cases when one can have binocular vision dysfunction after experiencing stroke, head trauma, or other neurological disorders.

The diagnosis of Vertical Heterophoria will first require a doctor’s assessment.

The symptoms of VH, as stated, may be similar to several of other conditions. For this reason, your doctor will need to look at your situation. A specific Neuro Visual exam which senses even the smallest and most subtle of misalignments should be your next move. In a routine eye examination, these tiny misalignments may not be identified.

When you experience dizziness while driving or headaches, do not quickly chalk it to having vertigo or migraine – it might be because of Vertical Heterophoria. With a thorough assessment by a Neuro Visual Specialist, you may be able to assess the proper diagnosis for the signs and symptoms you are experiencing.

Customized aligning prism eyeglasses are used to treat Vertical Heterophoria.

Treating Vertical Heterophoria primarily includes correcting the eye misalignment. This is attained by using accurate, custom-made aligning eyeglasses. These unique lenses move light so that the picture is received in the correct place by both eyes. Because of this, the eyes no longer strain to correct the image that was misaligned. This, in turn, decreases the dizziness bouts and other discomforts that you may encounter, particularly when you are driving.

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Study shows that people with this binocular vision disorder may feel relief from the symptoms within half an hour of putting their test lenses on. This will be followed by an assessment where required modifications are made with the prescription. One will only need to visit the Neuro Visual Specialist for an annual check-up once your prescription is stable.

Anyone can be treated for VH (no age limit)

One can be treated from Vertical Heterophoria no matter the age. The person with VH must just be old enough to be able to express what they feel, and they must be able to wear the glasses as well. Even if a person had been experiencing symptoms of VH over thirty years, it would not be a factor to not get treatment by using the specialized eyeglasses.

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