Headaches are extremely common, and most people will experience at least a few each year. Headaches are characterized by a number of different symptoms, usually always including pain of some type. This can range from a dull, aching pain to sharp, acute discomfort. Headaches can also be accompanied by a variety of other symptoms, including sensations of tightness across the forehead or head, tenderness of your scalp, neck and shoulder muscles and visual disturbances including blurred vision, flashing lights and temporary blind spots. Most headaches will go away on their own and are not a sign of something more serious. However, for some patients, headaches are a frequent problem, and they experience regular episodes that begin to have a significant impact on their day to day life.
Headaches can be caused by many different things, including dehydration, illness, drinking too much alcohol and not eating a healthy and balanced diet. However, one common cause that is often overlooked is a condition that is known as Binocular Vision Dysfunction or BVD.
Our experienced and knowledgeable optometry team are well versed in BVD and understand what triggers it and how it can be treated. We can assess patients at our modern and comfortable optometry center in Santa Barbara, CA.
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Binocular Vision Dysfunction, or BVD for short, is an eye condition that has many debilitating symptoms, with one of the primary indicators being frequent headaches. BVD occurs when the line of sight from one eye is slightly out of alignment with the line of sight from the other. This causes the extra-ocular muscles (eye muscles) to work hard to try and correct the alignment to achieve single focus vision, and this can put a great deal of strain on the eyes.
There are several different types of BVD and all are treated in slightly different manners. Our expert team has experience in them all.
As a result of the strain placed on their eyes, patients with BVD may experience a range of different symptoms including:
Dizziness or lightheaded feeling
Reading problems, such as losing your place or tiring easily when reading
Double vision (diplopia)
Sensitivity to light (photophobia)
Poor depth perception
Balance and coordination difficulties
Aching, tired eyes (asthenopia)
Neck, back and shoulder pain
As you might expect, these symptoms can make life quite difficult. In many instances, the patient has been experiencing headaches, or dizziness, or other symptoms for some time, and doesn’t understand what is causing them. It can be a significant relief to obtain a diagnosis of BVD so that they can start an effective treatment that offers them relief from their symptoms.
There is primarily one form of treatment that can treat all forms of binocular vision deficiency. This treatment is micro-prism lenses, and/or contoured prism lenses.
Microprism or contoured prism lenses combine standard eyeglasses lenses with small amounts of prism which are incorporated into the standard lens. When the correct amount of prism is combined with your usual glasses prescription, it will help your eyes work much better as a team.
Each microprism lens is personalized to each eye and manufactured specifically for each individual patient. Within a few weeks of wearing your custom microprism lenses, your vision and symptoms should be significantly improved, including your headache symptoms.
If you have been experiencing headaches and would like to speak to our experienced team to help you determine their cause, or if you have any questions about binocular vision dysfunction and its treatment, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our optometry center in Santa Barbara, CA today.