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.
Since I have been working to correct my phorias (changes in eye gaze caused by small eye muscle imbalances) I feel more centred. I feel stronger physcially, emotionally and mentally. I am less sensitive to the tiny changes in my own energy and the energy of other people. I am looking for ways to interact and collaborate with others, that I have never done before. in fact doing things with other people is right at the top of my list now, whereas before it was at the bottom.
As I work to correct my phorias using glasses with prism (and many different pairs because I have many different phorias,) I am feeling more centred as my nervous system relaxes. But there is more to it than this. We are all spiritual beings. Being more centred strengthens my aura and the stronger my aura the less sensitive I am to all the changes going on inside of me and around me.
Working with my phorias (eye gaze and muscle imbalance) I require lot of pairs of glasses. This is because my phorias move around a lot. I can test myself with the maddox rod test to find out where my phorias are and then choose the glasses to treat that phoria. Sometimes the glasses are on point and sometimes they are not quite on point but they will do. Sometimes I am surprised by which glasses help me. They don’t seem to quite match the test results. Sometimes one eye partially suppresses to allow my other eye to take up the reigns for a while. This could be better than the experience of both eyes fighting.
What I learnt is that my lenses are just bits of plastic with prism in that can help me. I play around with them like someone trying on shoes or hats. I enjoy them – my trial prism lenses are very precious to me! Some I have from a set of trial lenses and some I just popped out of a pair of cheap glasses that I bought with just prism in. So far it has been impossible to buy 0.25 diopter prism trial lenses so I had to do the popping out thing for these. I also sometimes combine glasses – wear one pair and fold the arm back on another to use the lens as an extra one. I work with any resources I can find to learn about my eyes and establish a relationship with them and my experience of the changing light.
Working with prisms is not an exact science. My husband who is no-where near me on the scale of sensitivity was trying out some prisms to find the up and down rotation. He found that for prism diopter 3 – 5 he was actually experiencing the prism upside down. The image was moving in the direction he didn’t expect. We didn’t have any answers for that. That was a mystery. In the same way prisms are doing mysterious things for me every day. I don’t fully understand how my brain relates to prism but it definitely likes it!
Prisms lenses – just bits of plastic that might help you!
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). You may be aware of small muscle imbalances that occur when you change direction of your gaze. This could occur as a result of being stressed or tired but with more sensitive people, it can be triggered simply by changes in the ambient light. These imbalances, though subtle can have a massive impact on your quality of life.
When children say that they don’t want to wear something or eat something, it is not a disorder. It is a gift. They are basically saying that the piece of clothing that we are asking them to wear, or the food we are asking them to eat are not a match for their deeper selves in that moment.
Your child is likely picking up information about their environment that you as the parent may just not perceive. They may know that the light is slightly more blue today and so they shouldn’t wear a deep blue dress. They may know that the light is slightly more red today so the pink top they wore yesterday will overpower them. They may know that the light feels a little more blue today and that means they can only eat crunchy food and they won’t like scratchy textures or harsh sounds. They may know that the light feels a little more red today and they need something soft on their plate and would like something soft to cuddle.
What your child has is a gift to detect the subtle changes in energy inside them and all around them because they detect subtle changes in the light spectrum. If they are given the support to hone their gift, they will be able to use it to nourish themselves and make themselves and others feel good. Without the right kind of support and by medicating the problem, their gift could be lost to the world for ever.