The Migraine Associated Vertigo Community
Read our welcome post, user support wiki & visit our member recommended products page

Has anyone looked into binocular vision dysfunction?

Hi all I’m new to this chat for him. I suggest you all look into this BVD also known as VH

A lot of the symptoms of VM and VH are very similar

I was able to go to the specialist in San Francisco which is listed on this website. I was given prism glasses which I have to start wearing. I also follow a support group on Facebook called vertical heterophoria

Worth looking into

Love to hear all of your thoughts


Yes, looked at all forms of eye conditions yrs ago. Sure it must often go undiagnosed and is a cause of dizziness for those people rather than MAV. If you are one, it may well prove successful. Eyes are so closely wired into balance. If having prisms in yr specs solves yr problems, you are laughing. Good luck.

I have exophoria which is a binocular dysfunction but mine is horizontal, not vertical. I too wear prisms. I would have been born with this although I was unaware of it until I was 35 years old when first needed specs to see the computer screen clearly and it was many yrs later before I even realised my condition had a name and wasn’t just something peculiar to me.

As a long time prism wearer, couple of points to bear in mind. The prisms are aligned with the intention you look straight through them, or distortion will occur. It may be slightly different with vertical prisms but I find I cannot look out of the corner of my eye, I turn my head. Watch out should you ever do VRT. Moving your eyes and not your head may not work. Prisms aren’t that common even amongst spectacle wearers. My optician reckons no more than 10% so don’t expect physiotherapists etc to have any knowledge of how they affect you. Prisms will lead incoming light into your eyes in a more concentrated form, they sort of creating an essy pathway for it I suppose so it may be best to wear sunglasses outside in bright sun. Don’t worry about this last point. I survived with prisms a long time before I even read that on the Net.

Really hope they help you.

1 Like

Thanks so much for the reply. I’m really new to it and the 1st day of wearing it I was find but the 2nd day it gave me that fishbowl effect. Mine is vertical and my doctor told me I’m .75 up in one eye and .75 down in the other eye so I don’t know if it’s too much prism at once but it definitely does not make me feel normal. I know this is a process and it’s going to take me awhile to get used to it

1 Like

No problem… as a long-term wearer I’m quite a prism expert now.

Everybody has a maximum tolerance for prisms so be careful in the long-term future well meaning eye doctors don’t encourage you to let them ‘put just a bit more prism in, to help’. They will keep trying.

Have you been told you have to wear them all the time? I was initially told to only wear them when I needed to which, at that time, was for computer use. I found that was not practical (keep taking then on/off in the office, made me nauseous) So I became a full-time spec wearer.

Anything I can help with, just get in touch.

By the way how/who reached the conclusion your MAV was actually not MAV but this eye condition if you don’t mind me asking. I did research it long ago but please remind me of the differences. I’d be very interested to know.

Hi Amy,
How is it going? I was also diagnosed with vertical heterophoria last week and got my glasses yesterday. What are your symptoms? Are the glasses helping?
Mine is rocking 24/7, plus headaches. So far, I do think I actually see better with my glasses, but the rocking sensation is still there, of course, it has only been not even one full day wearing them. I am excited and anxious at the same time about this. I also started effexor almost a month ago (75mg), as preventive for migraines and for the vestibular part, not sure how well it is working, I think it has definitively helped with anxiety/depression though… anyway, l requested to join the facebook group, and then left because I got more anxious about reading about others experiences. But now I requested to join again because I have questions!

Hope you are doing well,




@dizzy3 Surprised to find you ‘pop’ up in this thread. Remember reading your initial post about having post partum MAV with a 4 month old baby and thinking how sad and how difficult it must be to cope with all the work of a new baby whilst feeling off balance. Post partum seems to be one of the commonest times for MAV to kick in but that’s not surprising cos it seems to be strongly influenced by hormones. I’ve a friend, ex work colleague now in her 80’s who had her first migraine ever a couple of weeks after her first child was born and whose migraine ceased immediately and for ever at menopause and I’ve read about several young mothers who’ve had MAV start post partum or sometimes it escalates post partum having maybe started with a pregnancy. Noritriptyline seemed a popular choice for those that could take it and successful too.

Having a vested interest in the subject of BVD, I’d be very interested to know what visual symptoms you experienced that pushed you towards the necessary detailed tests required to investigate BVD, if you don’t mind me asking. There must be shared symptoms between MAV and BVD because both conditions can affect the eye and vision, dizziness being one, but at the moment I can’t imagine BVD producing the MAV like symptoms described in yr earlier post. I guess you’ve been told they are two separate issues, if indeed you’ve been told anything at all. These medical ‘experts’ are real wizards at not saying …

Meanwhile I wish you all the best with yr new spectacles which will help control the misalignment.

1 Like

Hello Onandon03, well I am doing vestibular rehab, and when I got the initial evaluation (late April), the therapist told me that she saw something in my left eye and that I should get an eye exam. That same week, my psychotherapist read in the news something about VH and told me to look into that because my symptoms were similar. My neighbor sent me a text with the same news that same day. In terms of visual symptoms, I do cover my left eye sometimes after a while because it hurts, I jump/skip lines/words, I had always had trouble with looking at people at the face (even before VM), and I hate driving at night.
So not sure if it is one or the other or both. I had a pretty serious accident 11 years ago, broke my neck diving, so maybe the VH comes from there, and I had compensated well until after postpartum?
I just know I am trying everything to feel normal again. It is not fun taking care of my baby and work full time feeling like crap everyday. I still don’t know how I have been able to function the last months.
Related to what doctors have told me, neurologist said migraines are producing the rocking, and if effexor controls the migraines and I keep rocking then I should look at MdD. She was quite skeptical about VH. Optometrist said that glasses could help with headaches and maybe the rocking/dizziness, at least diminish the intensity. The vestibular rehab therapist is the most excited about my glasses, because otherwise I think she knows VR can only go so far with he rocking.
But I am in fact seeing better with the glasses, at least the computer feels much better. But I had horrible nausea earlier. I guess it takes a while to adjust. Wish me luck!

1 Like

Wow, talk about crucial piece of information!

Sorry you went through this Laura.

Here we see another case of vestibular upset after serious trauma? That’s been coming up as a bit of a trend recently on the forum.

You strain a lot during childbirth. This might have exacerbated an existing issue. I know this personally because I injured my ear 3 years ago, but had been doing well until recently when did a lot of heavy lifting and this brought my imbalance and migraines right back. It has taken me a few weeks to improve again.

1 Like

James, certainly a crucial bit of info this but bit of a problem here with abbreviation I think. @dizzy3 thinking the VH - Vertical Heterophoria (her eye misalignment for which she has recently been prescribed prisms)may stem from her RTA. Guessing you read that, out of habit, as VM? Vestibular Migraine aka MAV - migraine associated vertigo. We do seem to have found a trend with MAV coming on post serious trauma. I don’t suppose anyone knows for sure whether VH could be caused by a serious RTA, broken neck’s about as serious as it can get so, maybe. However everything I’ve been told/read during much researching leads me to believe eye misalignment conditions are something people are born with or which develop soon after birth. They tend to run in families. Could well be the trauma of a serious RTA exacerbated the condition making it more obvious or gave the brain so much other work to do it lacked capacity to manage the deficiency as well as it usually had. One has to remember that the eyes gather visual information but the brain has the final say over what we actually ‘see’.



It’s all beginning to make sense now. Thanks for replying.

Most particularly the ‘jump/skip’ bit.

Good. The prisms will probably totally control it for you. If the nausea had continued more than a week I’d say, from experience, either they’d got the prescription wrong or the specs are not correctly aligned on your nose. Always make sure they aren’t able to slip, the prisms are designed to work at a very precise angle, for want of a better word.

You have such a busy life, I admire how you cope with this balance problem as well. Well done to you.

The neuro-otologist I saw said ‘migraines cause vertigo’. I always think the theory of preventatives is that if successful they stop all the migraine symptoms. Were you told how long to wait before looking at MdD? How long roughly does effexor take to be effective. Sure somebody on here will know.

Bet she was. So she thinks the migraine is the cause. They do say if the preventative works, migraine was the cause but of course you do need to take maximum tolerated dose to control all symptoms and to take them for a sufficient length of time. Neurologist info required here I suspect though I never got any!

1 Like

so the specialists on vertical heterophoria have published papers with patient with traumatic brain injury and they say those are the patients with the most benefits with prisms. I never had issues related to my vestibular after my accident, except from one ocassion that I had spinning vertigo that went away on its own after a few days, and that was 10 years ago.

1 Like

not sure how long the effexor is suposse to take to work, she told me “this could take a year for you to start feeling better”… then she said “or years”. I am on a high dose of effexor for vm, 75 mg, but i was also very anxious, I am still, actually had tought about increasing it, but wanted to see if glasses help before i increase the dose. This rocking is taking all my energy and life out of me. I am also not sleeping great and I think is because of the effexor. But you know, no sleep= more rocking. I am rocking too much today, plus nausea from glasses. Not fun.

1 Like

I imagine same applies to other preventatives. I take propranolol and although I was seeing improvements after being put on a much increased dose in April 2017 I was nearly at the first anniversary date before the rocking subsided.

The best idea, otherwise you won’t be able to be sure what’s helping what.

Doesn’t it just. It’s exhausting. You cannot explain it to anybody who hasn’t suffered it. Know just how you are feeling because I had it for over three and a half years myself. How you manage with that, a job and baby, defeats me. You must be amazingly resilient.

All the best with adjusting to your specs. Do let us know how it all works out for you. Something must be causing all this imbalance. Perhaps prisms will fix it for you.

1 Like

Thank you. How did it feel when the rocking subsided? Did you just wake up one morning without it? I am patiently waiting… I have no choice regarding baby and job duties, plus of course I have no loss of balance and can drive, i feel better with movement, otherwise I dont know what I would be doing…

1 Like

In a word, No. it started to stop very gradually. One day I suddenly realised it had gone, brilliant I thought but it it didn’t last. First time, after about 2 hours back it came. Then maybe two days later same thing happened again. Then gradually over a period of a month or six weeks the no-rocking periods gradually became longer but eventually it would always come back. Then it wasn’t there first thing when I got up and I’d go a whole morning without it, then on another day right through til mid afternoon, and so the rocking-free periods extended over a couple of months. It would still come rushing back if tormented by me doing something my balance didn’t approve of, say trying to do a Tai Chi workout, scrub my utility room stone tiles on my hands and knees maybe. It’s still much like that but perhaps not quite so easily tormented and I’ve just gone three full days without it although it’s back, a bit, this afternoon.

Great. You feel no loss of balance and therefore can function so much better. That’s lucky. Your rocking sensation indicates that yr balance/vestibular system is not functioning as it should. This is most probably because yr brain is receiving false messages giving it misleading info as to where you are in space.

1 Like

that is how it started for me, for periods of time a day, until it stayed 24 hours…
if my eyes are causing this, maybe that is where the mismatch in the signal is.
thanks for the exchange, i hope the rocking is not too bad today for you.

1 Like

just for the curiosity record, in the support group on facebook for VH, a lot have also (or wrongly?) been diagnosed with VM… wonder if VH is on the VM spectrum if we think eyes are part of the vestibular system? it amazes me how many share the VM diagnosis… or the VM does something to your eyes? :woman_shrugging:t4:

1 Like

There’s no doubt eyes are one of three components that are the vestibular system. Your VRT therapist will explain that to you in greater detail if required.

I don’t think a neurologist would even think to look for it. It’s from another specialism.
I think if you saw a neuro-otologist or a neuro-opthamologist they might think of it but wouldn’t imagine a neurologist would consider it an option and of course it wouldn’t be obvious, needing specialist tests anyway. This is the trouble with all the specialisms. They each only look within their own field. I’ve found this myself. Medical people don’t take a holistic approach and the trouble with patients is they are made up of lots of compontent parts and sometimes have the audacity to have more than one thing wrong with them at a time. Besides ‘common things are common’ and migraine I’d imagine is probably far more common than VH.

Don’t do FB. Not surprised alot appear to have diagnosis of MAV and VH. The two conditions have alot of symptoms in common. Have a read at Just found this today, it’ll explain alot to you.

VM can certainly affect your eyes. Just as a straight migraine does. Everybody’s known somebody who has to lie down in a darkened room with a migraine because they become light sensitive during an attack. True rotary vertigo is an illusion of movement that affects the eyes and VM sufferers can get other eye symptoms such as visual snow etc. With VM such effects are temporary. VH is a permanent eye misalignment.

Just out of curiosity with yr FB friends… ‘proof of the pudding’ … have the prisms cured either the VH or the MAV? At all, for anybody?

1 Like

yes, some of them say that they have improved 90%, others that are 100% symptoms free. There are just a few that say it did not help at all.
But it is a process, it takes time and also several adjustments in the prism prescription.
My nausea stopped last night so I am better today! :slightly_smiling_face: I am really hoping that this improves my life, I’ll take 50% if anything!

1 Like

Well, that IS interesting. Looks like there may have been a few misdiagnoses then which isn’t surprising as there are many shared and overlapping symptoms particularly with the early stages of VM. At least with VH a test will prove whether or not a misalignment exists, it’s either there or it isn’t. There’s no conclusive test to establish migraine. It’s just a case of ruling out common obvious other possibilities as far as possible, hoping to find some definite history of migraine and then seeing if the preventatives work.

With the similarity of symptoms I do wonder about the definition ‘dizziness’, that means different things to different people. True, spinning rotary ‘dizziness’ is ‘vertigo’ (either the room or yr body appears to spin), ‘dizziness’ is non-rotary, whoozy, light headedness. They do say true vertigo causes migraine. Don’t know whether VH would cause that. Maybe true vertigo might be an indicator.

Glad yr nausea stopped. Adjustments in prisms can be required, that’s an ongoing process. Initially sometimes they are upped in steps so your brain can adjust. Of course there can also be deficiencies between the prism required by the severity of the alignment and the actual maximum amount of prism your brain will tolerate. As the years go by too larger prisms can be needed to produce the same effect.

With my case I was feeling dizzy and much research was done (by eye experts, not me) into whether my eye misalignment was the cause, despite the prisms and I was assured not. It was much later and with worsening symptoms that I was introduced to the MAV syndrome. Do let me know how you progress or if you hear anything else relevant. Remember, I’ve a vested interest, too.

1 Like