Today is a beautiful day and we planned an early cliff top walk at the sea. I have lot of pair of glasses now to treat my different phorias and felt sure I could find one in my collection for the phoria of the day. But I didn’t. Then I realised that my eye gaze was going IN and DOWN. This was a phoria that I hadn’t previously identified. Suddenly I understood why I felt a bit unstable and wobbly plus quite emotional at the thought of needing another pair of glasses!
We went down to the sea and when we arrived on the front (still in the car,) I noted that I felt a bit insecure. Also my light sensitivity wasn’t good. At this point I was wearing just prescription glasses with no prism. Then as the sun came come out, I guessed that my phoria would be an UP and OUT and my IN DOWN glasses worked very nicely.
However as we walked up the cliff, the weather changed and it became more overcast. I felt my insecure feelings again and the higher we got up the cliff, the more insecure I felt. I then actually felt that my eyes were going DOWN and IN. I felt hemmed in and a bit alone even though I was safe with my family. And in that moment I remembered lots of family holidays as a child where I felt exactly the same thing. Out of nowhere I would feel so insecure and in those moments no-one seemed able to reach me.
Now I know it is just a phoria and not a deep psychological emotional issue. I feel so relieved and like a weight as been lifted off my shoulders.
What Can I Do About it?
I need a pair of glasses with prism to redirect my gaze.
The prisms I need are Right and Left eye – Prisms O.25 OUT and O.25 UP. I make useful acronyms and I call these my ROULOU glasses. And I have ordered them. I look forward to wearing them and finding out just how good I could feel on a sunny day on the cliff tops in July!
What does it feel like to have an untreated phoria?
Basically you are looking at something but your eye gaze is somewhere else.
In reading, your child’s eye gaze could be between the words rather than on the words. it could be between the lines or at the top or bottom of the words.
In maths this is even more pronounced because we tend to work with lots of small symbols in a big space. At least with writing, the lines lead your eyes to try to focus into the correct place. But with no visual guide in maths, your gaze could be anywhere on the page. Your child’s gaze might well not be on the number, symbol, line or shape that they want to look at.
Misdirected eye-gaze left untreated causes exhaustion, frustration and low self esteem.
If you suspect your child has issues with eye gaze why not try the Reading Test with them.
Today I really wanted to work with a document on my computer where I am working with a lot of detail. It is a chart so I am also working with a grid. When I first got up and started this work, I felt great because I had the right pair of glasses on to treat a phoria. My phoria was RIGHT OUT and LEFT DOWN and OUT. So I was wearing prisms to bring my eyes to the correct position on the horizontal and vertical plane.
Then the day became brighter – just subtly- and I felt something change in myself. I could feel that I was starting to develop eyestrain and that this was causing me to tighten up in my jaw, shoulders and chest. I knew this was going to have a knock on effect on my breathing and my digestive system. Sure enough when I looked at the writing I was working on, my focus had changed. Whereas initially, I was focusing exactly on the words , now my eyes were going slightly above the words.
So I knew that my phoria must have changed. Now my eyes were RIGHT IN and LEFT OUT UP. And so I needed a different pair of glasses., which I don’t possess yet.
I can see a day of poor focus looming. It is a pity because everything is pretty clear. It is just that my eye are not looking where I intend them to look! And that is absolutely exhausting. I will have to have a big picture day and not a detail day for sure!
Why not have a go at the Reading Testand see where your eyes are looking today.
Please follow me and you will hear the up and downs of my energy patterns through the year and how I have learnt to thrive, no matter the weather, no matter the light! You will find all my previous entries on my ‘Lightwatcher Diary’ page.
If you understand your state, then you can understand your needs. If you understand your needs, then you can fully live your life.
We don’t tend to think about our eyes that much, as long as we can see to do what we want to do in life. On this basis we decide that our eyes are ‘normal’ or close to ‘normal’. It is only when we can’t see well enough to get on with our lives that we go and see a vision specialist. The specialists test us and give us something that they say will make our vision ‘more normal’. Usually this is a pair of glasses with some sort of prescription. We think ‘Good, now my vision is normal again!’ and go away feeling pleased that this problem has been resolved.
But the question I am asking is ‘How do you feel about your eyes?’ And despite my optician saying that my vision is normal with glasses, it doesn’t feel ‘normal’ when I really think about it.
Some of the things that don’t feel normal: –
Subjects and background seem to blend together too much causing me to see too much detail.
I feel too sensitive to light and glare.
My eyes feel like they are fighting with each other sometimes.
My eyes aren’t really looking where I want to look, half the time.
I am not tracking in my reading. I am looking at several words at once to get me through.
I am looking away from things because pattern is disturbing me.
I am looking away from things because colour seems wrong – lack lustre, too bright, like something is missing.
None of these things feel ‘normal’ to me. They were my ‘norma’l for most of my life but now I have discovered that I am sensitive to my changing phorias, I definitely know that they are not ‘normal’.
How do you feel about your eyes?
How are you seeing the world?
Are you happy with your perceived or someone else’s ‘normal’ or do you think there could be something else better out there for you?
When I have this phoria, my eyes are both essentially looking up and to the left. I feel as if I just don’t want to speak because nothing really makes sense. I can have a conversation but I won’t be able to join up the dots. And the more fixed someone is on something they believe, the more angry I am. I can’t focus on anything – not even what I believe – so why should someone else have a voice?
Feeling like this is terrible. I feel like a terrible person but I know I am not really. This is just how the phoria is making me feel.
What Can I Do About it?
I need a pair of glasses with prism to redirect my gaze.
The prisms I need are Right eye – Prisms O.5 OUT, O.25 DOWN and Left Eye Prisms O.5 IN and O.25 DOWN. I make useful acronyms and I call these my RODLID glasses. And I have ordered them. I look forward to wearing them when this phoria dares to turn up next time!
Oh – the IN phoria – not nice! Today my gaze is going UP and IN. It makes me feel trapped, hemmed in, as if I am living in a small space. It just feels very hard to see out, to follow a conversation and impossible to see somebody else’s point of view! I feel easily confused and ridiculously easily overwhelmed. I feel not centred and present, and this makes it hard to enjoy relationship
Don’t forget – I am only talking about an eye gaze. On first thought my vision seems completely normal. The next clue is that I feel slightly off balance. And after that, I slowly become aware of all of the above.
What Can I Do About It?
I need to work out the phorias in both eyes. For me today, my phoria in my right eye is In and UP. And my phoria in my left eye is OUT. So I need glasses with prism to correct this.
The prisms I need are Right eye – Prisms O.5 OUT, O.25 DOWN and Left Eye Prisms O.5 IN. I make useful acronyms and I call these my RODLI glasses. And I have ordered them. I look forward to wearing them when this phoria dares to turn up next time!
Phorias and strabismus are both eye turns. They give you the feeling of having misdirected gaze. However strabismus can usually be detected by the human eye and although it might be intermittent, it will likely recur in the same direction to the same strength. A person will be said to have a right eye turn or a an up eye turn. The treatment is to align the eyes to attain binocular vision. This can be achieved with prism, or helped through vision therapy or behavioural optometry.
Phorias are more complex. A phoria is an eye turn or misdirected eye in any of the 8 compass points. And both eyes could have the same pattern, a different pattern or only one eye could be affected. When you add 8 to the possibility of having 0 phoria in one eye you get what is officially called the 9 cardinal points of gaze. When you do the maths and work out how many permutations there are for two eyes with nine points of gaze, you get to the number 81! Yes, there are 81 permutations of phoria. As an example of someone with phorias that disturb me, I have found that I have 18 permutations. So I have glasses made with small amounts of prism in one or two directions to treat all of these. It does make life more complicated but I get used to reading the light, knowing my needs, and it is worth it!
Many highly sensitive people are sensitive to their perception of the spectrum, specifically red and blue light.
Sensitivity to red and blue light causes the visual image not to always fall centrally on the fovea centralis at the back of our eye. Movement of the visual image from falling on the centre of the fovea (promoting sharp visual acuity) and switching on red and green cones, to image falling on outer edge of the fovea (promoting less sharp visual acuity) switching on blue cones, and all the incremental changes of these combinations, cause disturbance in our visual system.
Disturbance in our visual system cause small muscle imbalances.
Small muscle imbalances cause sensitivity to misalignment of our gaze (Phorias)
Misalignment of our gaze causes issues with focus, tracking and depth perception.
On a deeper level, misalignment of gaze causes Lack of Coherence (difficulty seeing the big picture or processing the whole.) A person’s world may appear to be unintegrated or flat.
Lack of Coherence causes confusion. It is as if the brain is trying to do a giant jigsaw puzzle but can’t quite make the pieces fit together.
Confusion overloads the nervous system and the result is sensory processing issues (visual, sound, touch and texture, proprioception, balance and interoception.)
Issues with focus also cause too low or too high saturation of colour, augmenting the sensory issues of taste and smell.
What Do We Do About This?
We need to: –
Test people to see if they could be sensitive to their phorias.
Offer people the right prisms to correct their phorias.
Teach people about spectral sensitivity because this is essential in understanding our phorias and working with them successfully.