A phoria is a latent (hidden) eye deviation. Most people have a very small phoria if tested, and this doesn’t affect their wellbeing. However, a sensitive person can be affected by a small phoria. Less sensitive people may be able to ignore any small amounts of distortion but sensitive people can’t. Any lack of congruency, any deviation from the whole is a problem for the sensitive person.
If you are sensitive to you phorias, 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 accommodation reflex, likely causing eyestrain or headaches. This is tiring and can cause you to feel disconnected and disorientated.
Phorias are categorised by direction.
- Exophoria: An eye gaze outwards (typical sign – light sensitivity)
- Esophoria: An eye gaze inwards (typical sign – feel easily confused)
- Hyperphoria: An eye gaze upwards (typical sign – feel phased and ungrounded)
- Hypophoria: An eye gaze downwards (typical sign – feel depressed )
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.
Am I Sensitive to My Phorias?
To find out simply ask yourself these questions:
Do I sometimes:
Feel as if my eye is being pulled or stretched (this being even more extreme outside sometimes?)
Have extreme light sensitivity
Lack co-ordination for no apparent reason?
Struggle to walk in a straight line?
Feel as if my eyes are fighting with each other?
Struggle to focus on something because I am distracted by the background (subject and background both demanding the same attention?)
Have cognitive processing difficulties and feel easily overloaded by information?
Feel as if mentally I am going round and round in circles?
Feel that my eyes can never rest, even at night?
If you answer yes to some or all of these questions, then you could be sensitive to your phorias (direction of gaze).
If you would like to know more please go to Help with Your Vision FAQ’s or just get in touch and have a chat.