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Vertical Heterophoria Syndrome???

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Around 3 months ago I had a drunken fall onto a concrete floor, hitting my forehead hard and splitting the skin open. A day later I started getting vertigo. Every time I sat up from lying down or vice-versa, the room would spin really badly. This recovered after about a week, but i still had other symptoms that remained until a month after the fall such as feeling disconnected, brain-fog, groggyness.

My doctor put me on Prochlorperazine for a week as he said I had 'mild residual vertigo' and a day after coming off the tablets I felt back to normal for a day. That evening I took a Diazepam for a crick in my neck that had developed during the day and the next day I woke up feeling fatigued.

The fatigue has continued since then (about 2 months) but along with it I have a groggy feeling like being slightly tipsy and a kind of brain fog where I don't feel completely with it. I also get occasional fellings of falling or shifting that last for a second or two about 5 or 6 times a day. On top of this I have a tension at my temples which feels like someone is pressing on them constantly. My eyes also feel like the cannot focus properly too. I occassionally get the falling/shifting sensation when I roll over in bed at night too.

The symptoms vary in severity but the brain-fog; groggyness and tiredness are always there to some degree. When I am in a situation with lots going on (for example looking for something specific in a large; busy; unfamilier shop) They symptoms get worse and I feel overwhelmed and as if I am drunk.

I have been to my GP had a CT scan and blood tests which have all come back clear. I have also seen a consultant neurologist who told me that there was nothing wrong with me; that it was brought on by anxiety and that I sould stop worrying so much.

I don't think it is anxiety as the only times I feel anxious are when I think about my symptoms. The anxiety may be making things worse, but I think it is brought on the by the presence of the symptoms.

My co-ordination, memory etc all seem unaffected, which make it difficult for the doctors to understand what I am feeling

I've heard of a condition called Vertical Heterophoria Syndrome which sounds to have similar symptoms to what I'm feeling. Does anyone know if it is a likely cause of what I have or if it is more likely to be related to the head injury, or in fact be something completely different?

It doesn't seem to be debilitating in any physical way, but it's absolutely horrible, and the reaction I have to busy places has made me somewhat reclusive.

Thanks loads.
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replied February 27th, 2009
I have had the same symptoms you describe for nearly 30 years. I had all the usual tests when it first developed (when I was 25 years old) but all came back clear. I ma a male aged 55 now and live in the UK. I am still researching for a "cure" because, like you I was siagnosed with Anxiety but know that it is only these unpleasant symptoms that cause my anxiety. I have read today about Vertical Heterophoria Syndrome but there is no one in the UK that is practise the procuedures. The only one I can find is "vision specialists" of Birmingham Mass. USA.

I'd be really interested in the result if you try them.

Good Luck Smile
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replied July 7th, 2009
reply
Hello, I too have experienced what you both have....and I have an inner ear disorder called Endolymphatic Hydrops. It is similar to Meniere's, and it is an imbalance of the fluid in the middle ear. About two months ago, I woke up in the middle of the night after turning over...I tried to stand and could not. It felt like I was being pulled toward the ground. I felt like up was down, left was right, very hard to explain. It was not the same as the spinning vertigo that I experienced thirty years ago. I went to a vestibular doctor and they said it is BPPV. It's when the crystals get into the wrong canal in your middle ear, and you have to get them back to the proper canal. This can be done with the Epley Maneuver. If you see a vestibular specialist, they can do it in the office...or you can do it at home but it probably won't be done correctly. It sounds to me like maybe BPPV (which stands for BENIGN PAROXYSMAL POSITIONAL VERTIGO) and is common from what I understand. Hope this helps. I still have symptoms that you describe, especially the "pulls" that go on through the day. I have not had the in office Epley Maneuver (I am a big chicken). They say BPPV can go away on its own, but sometimes can come back.
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replied September 1st, 2009
VHS?
Actually, it is Vision Specialists of Birmingham, Michigan -- not Massachusetts. I left their office a couple of hours ago after being diagnosed with VHS. I really don't know much about it (hence the web search this afternoon). I had some prism lens clipped onto my glasses for about an hour in their office and I definitely noticed a difference in the way I felt. It's really hard to describe. I felt like things were clearer - not visually, but mentally. I have to say it was really odd. That and the crick I got in my neck from having my head straight instead of slightly tilted. I'm pretty excited about getting actual glasses with he prisms in them. If this solves half of little annoying issues, I'll be thrilled. Anyway, according to the literature at the office, head trauma can cause VHS or worsen a case that was there but not a problem before. I'd encourage you to check it out if you are still having issues (I know it's 7 months later).
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replied November 11th, 2011
Vision Specialist MI
I know your post was fron 2009 but I am meeting with Dr. Debbie on Monday for my VH exam. I am nervous, excited, & scared. Any words of advice? How are you feeling 2 years later? Thanks Smile
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replied November 12th, 2011
Vision Specialists of MI
I have been going to Vision Specialists of MI now since March 2011 and they saved my life!!! I had a fall that caused whiplash in 2009, which started the symptoms that all have been posting. I then lost my balance in Sept 2011 and fell and hit my head, which made my symptoms much worse. I saw many many doctors and had many many tests to be told that they could not find anything wrong and was put on medications to help with the dizziness, anxiety etc. In March 2011 I learned of Dr. Debbie Feinberg and The Vision Specialists in MI and did their online questionnaire about Vertical Heterophoria to find out that I had all but 2 of the symptoms. I was also nervous about my first visit, but it was wonderful. I did test positive for VH and was fitted with prism glasses. The temporary lenses I received that day automatically made me feel 50% better. I could finally relax and do things I had not been able to do in 2 years. Since then I have weaned off of the medications and have had new prism glasses and it has been amazing. The office staff are wonderful and you are treated as an individual, not a number or diagnosis. I actually always look forward to my follow-up visits to share how much better I feel. Best of luck to you Smile
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replied November 12th, 2011
Thanks for responding Smile How long did it take you to get used to the prisms? I hear its weird at first ... ? I have regular prescription glasses but I know this will be totally different. Also, did you travel out of state to see her? I am just curious as to how many times I will need to make the expensive trip :/
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replied November 12th, 2011
They tell you to give it 2 weeks to get use to the prisms, but it did not take me that long since they made me feel so much better. I did have to also get bifocals put into the lenses, that was the hard part to get use to. I have a real hard time with glare from bright lights so I also have the anti-glare protection added to my lenses. It is good that you are already use to wearing glasses. I was able to use the frames that I already had. I am fortunate and live in Michigan and only have to travel for 2 hours to the Dr office. Between the initial exam and getting a few lens changes I think I have been there 6 times. It does not take everyone that many times, since I did have a few changes since I went off of medications (they were working against what the glasses were trying to do)but it has been worth it. Think of all of the time and money you will save from other tests and doctors trying to figure out what is wrong when it may only take a pair of glasses Smile
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replied November 14th, 2011
I am so excited! I met with Dr. Debby this morning and these glasses are awesome! I feel so different already.. Did you notice more improvement as the first few weeks passed? She said she is pretty certain I will only need one more lens change. Keeping my fingers crossed for an even more noticbke difference in the next few weeks.
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replied April 24th, 2011
Vertical Heterophoria
hi - im confused too... i dont know but for about 12 months now i have been trying to figure out what is wrong with me.. ive had hepes of blood tests, cat scan, mri, eeg, seen neurologist, optometrist and eye spectialist and now a psychiatrist who says its all my anxiety... but i dont know - when i drive i go off the road and nearly crash so i cant drive by myself for more than 5 minutes and it is soo frustrating! when i was at school i always used to accidently walk infront of people when i was walking next to them and i thought it was clumsyness - and when i have always tried to read things move to the other side of the page or overlap or merge together and also this happens when i drive its so strange.. anyways i went back to the optometrist the other day and he wants to send me to another eye specialist becuase he thinks there is something wrong with my eyes but he thinks its my medication but i know its not because its been happening since i was little and high school and i only started meds last august (it all happened at once last may when i started driving)... i just feel foggy/unreal/disoriented/dizzy/i see double vision/ the light bothers me/ i cant concentrate for long before i start drifting off the road...
also the docs thought i had MS and a brain tumour and then they thought it was innner ear disease and now anxiety disorder... maybe i have anxiety but i definitely know there is something else here... can anyone hellp me please Sad ??
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Thanks for your patience!

replied May 13th, 2011
Hopefully an Answer
didabaumy,

While nothing is 100% sure, it definitely sounds like you have Vertical Heteraphoria Syndrome.

All of your symptoms can be treated with a pair of special prismatic glasses. The reason why your optometrist couldn't diagnose you properly is due to the fact that this treatment is relatively new. If you google Vertical Heterophoria Syndrome, and click on the first website, it will take you to the Vision Specialists of Birmingham website. They have a phone number in which you can get direct contact with the doctors and talk to them one on one. I highly recommend this as it sounds like you might have this condition.

Hope your journey to health goes well!
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replied June 22nd, 2011
Vertical Heterophoria - ME TOO!
I have had weird dizzy symptoms for 31 years now, all tests I had came back normal, all doctors told me it was my imagination. I am 38 years old and live in the UK.

I always felt that the problem was with my eyes, and on putting 'eye dizziness' into you tube, it brought up the video of Dr Debby Feinberg at Vision Specialists of Birmingham in Michigan. I feel that ALL of my symptoms are what she describes. After she called me on the phone, such a lovely kind lady, she really believes that I have it after seeing a photo and telling me that it's due to eye misalignment and that one of my eyes is higher than the other. I feel she is my only hope after doctors in the uk telling me that I don't have VH. But I believe that I do and doctors in the UK don't know about it as much as the doctors in Michigan. I will let you know how it all goes, wish me luck. Please talk to them or do the online checklist first, then call them.
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replied June 22nd, 2011
Vertical Heterophoria - ME TOO!
I have had weird dizzy symptoms for 31 years now, all tests I had came back normal, all doctors told me it was my imagination. I am 38 years old and live in the UK.

I always felt that the problem was with my eyes, and on putting 'eye dizziness' into you tube, it brought up the video of Dr Debby Feinberg at Vision Specialists of Birmingham in Michigan. I feel that ALL of my symptoms are what she describes. After she called me on the phone, such a lovely kind lady, she really believes that I have it after seeing a photo and telling me that it's due to eye misalignment and that one of my eyes is higher than the other. I feel she is my only hope after doctors in the uk telling me that I don't have VH. But I believe that I do and doctors in the UK don't know about it as much as the doctors in Michigan. I will let you know how it all goes, wish me luck. Please talk to them or do the online checklist first, then call them.
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replied August 5th, 2011
Vertical Heterophoria and BPPV
Hello:

I am a 61-year-old male (current date = 8-5-2011). I actually have Vertical Heterophoria AND have had several incidents of BPPV. In January 1979, I had a downhill ski accident which caused a cervical spine fracture. For 28 years, I experienced the various symptoms outlined in this forum. I could never pinpoint a specific cause, and neither could various m3edical "experts" (You would think that in the Internet age, the various medical disciplines would be sharing data, for the good of all! Hah!) You have to get multiple diagnoses. I never suspected my problem was my eyes. In 2007, I went to a new optometrist, who discovered that I had Hyperphoria (another name for VH). Eureka - the answer discovered. I believe the visual divergence problem may run in my family - my two sisters have a little "trick" they play where they look at something closeup and one eye quickly flips to the side and back again. It causes them absolutely no problems. For four years, I've tried multiple prism prescriptions in my glasses, but nothing seems to resolve the problem. Several weeks ago, another new optometrist revealed that my divergence is not fixed -- every test she gave me resulted in my eyes diverging in different ways, which can't be resolved by a fixed prism prescription. She recommended that Vision Therapy could work for me. Now, I had been told in the past that Vision Therapy would only work with children, who are more malleable (changeable) than adults. My new optometrist says that is "old thinking". People with a variety of conditions are succeeding with therapy that modifies their brain activities, such as stroke victims regaining speech, etc. Keep in mind that you need to see more than one practitioner in order to get closer to the "truth". Also, new discoveries are made all the time.

Now I am going to see an optometrist who specializes in working with people who have had head injuries, strokes, etc., and I assume we'll use Vision Therapy to retrain my brain. Incidentally, I have had three incidents of BPPV in the past 6 years, too, and I had no idea the condition existed. For 80 to 90% of those afflicted, a set of 4 head movements are used to make the "crystals" return to their proper position in the inner ear. Crazy, huh? Anyway, best of luck to all of you.
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replied May 19th, 2012
Chronic dizziness
I had chronic dizziness for 3 years. After being told it is all in my head I gave up on life. Lost my job, felt depressed and didn't know where to turn. But my wife just discovered Vertical Heterophoria Syndrome and the Michigan clinic. We then found a Optometrist in Victoria. I am in South spam unapproved so was reluctant to travel the 1000km as I was some what sceptical. After ringing the brilliant Michael Christian I knew he could help me. After an hour and a half over trying hundreds of Prism lenses it felt like I had not in such a long time. This man has a heart of gold and is an true angel that really understands and wants to help. I have had the Prism lenses for 3 weeks. After one day of wearing them I had around 40% balance improvement. I now am 70% better and look forward to having a wondeful life ahead. I am not saying this is for everyone, but please make a call, google it, you have nothing to loose and a whole life to gain back.
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replied October 11th, 2012
I wanted to know how a single pair of glasses help you focus on objects close and far away at the same time?
I have a pair of prism glasses for reading but they do not help for mid or far away objects. I still have trouble focusing, specially when going to pharmacies, publix or places where there are many visual stimuli which is why I am asking.
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