What is a phoria?
A phoria is a latent (hidden) eye deviation. The eyes appear to be straight, but when covering an eye and breaking fusion, the eyes assume a position away from normal alignment. Most people have a very small phoria if tested, but a large phoria makes it hard to keep the eyes aligned. This could occur as a result of being stressed, tired and it can be triggered by changes in the light.
If a large amount of phoria exists, your eyes are will not rest on the subject you are focusing on. Your gaze will move elsewhere. Keeping both eyes fixated on your chosen subject requires an effort by you. To compensate, you will attempt to focus your eyes intently, inducing an accomodation reflex, likely causing eyestrain or headaches.
Phorias are categorised by direction.
- Exophoria: An eye gaze outwards
- Esophoria: An eye gaze inwards
- Hyperphoria: An eye gaze upwards
- Hypophoria: An eye gaze downwards
Phorias can occur in your right eye, left eye or both eyes or they can alternate between the eyes. They can occur in any of the 8 directions of the compass.
How Can I Help You?
Firstly I am a qualified teacher but not a trained optician or optometrist. I have hidden changing phorias myself and I am passionate about helping people see clearly. To me, phorias are all about direction and power. If those are lacking, it is hard to live. When you regain them, you won’t know yourself!
How Do I Work?
I set up your current optical prescription in my trial frames (exactly the sort of frames you wear at the optician). Alternatively you can wear your glasses. Then we work with one eye at at time. If you are able to use your eyes independently, you don’t need to cover one eye. If we need to cover one eye, you can do that yourself or we can use an occluder lens in the frame.
I will then ask you to focus on a spot and ask you if you can do tis comfortably. If you say that cannot focus on the spot comfortably I will ask you where your gaze is moving to. You may say it is going up or out or towards any of the 8 points of the compass. Reporting that you cannot keep your gaze comfortably on the spot will confirm that you have a hidden phoria. Telling me the direction of your gaze will give me the information I need to choose the correct prism direction to correct your phoria.
I will then add the prism of the correct direction in the smallest strength to the frames or you may choose to hold the prism in front of your eyes or glasses. Then I will ask you if you see any improvement or not.
If you see improvement we will try a prism of a higher strength and then compare the two. We will keep going up in prism strength until you feel it is a little uncomfortable and then come back to the one you find comfortable. This will be your correct prism strength.
We will repeat the process with the other eye. We will then set up your prescription for two eyes in the frame and I will ask you how it feels. We will then make any necessary adjustments based on your comments about the comfort of using both your eyes together.
How Do I Buy My New Glasses?
There are many online shops that sell glasses to a person’s prescription and some of these are able to add prism. I am to recommend ones that I have found work well for me. I am also happy to help you fill in the prescription online and/or to order your glasses for you.
Will I Only Need One Extra Pair of Glasses?
How many extra pairs of glasses you need will depend on the type of phorias you have. Some people only have one simple phoria to correct. Other people’s needs are more complex. People with extreme light sensitivity may need to be tested in different lights / weathers / seasons to find all the glasses they need to keep them comfortable through the year.
What I Charge:
Adults and children: £20 per half hour session. (You may need a single or double session depending on the complexity of your needs.)
I work from my home in Crewkerne, Somerset. It is in a peaceful location off a quiet side-road. If you are driving, parking is secure on our drive. if you are using the bus it is approximately 500 yards from the bus stop
I use a quiet, light, airy, comfortable room (no stairs). We are able to work 3 metres apart if required. We have a pet free, smoke free home. Between sessions I wipe down all surfaces used with antibacterial wipes. Due to my sensitivities I am not able to wear a mask but you are welcome to wear one if it makes you feel more comfortable. If you have any special needs, please let me know and I will do my best to meet them.