If you suffer from frequent headaches, you know how debilitating they can be. They just suck the energy out of you, they are painful and they steal away your valuable time. If medications have not solved your problem or you don’t like taking medications, Syntonic Phototherapy may give you the relief you are looking for.
Headaches can be divided into two categories:
- Primary headaches, meaning those that we can’t pinpoint a reason for, such as Migraine or Cluster headaches.
- Secondary headaches; are those that we can link to something. A tension or stress-related headache has a cause. Some foods or medications can bring on this type of headache, and illness or infection, lack of sleep, and dehydration can cause secondary headaches.
Many tension headaches are caused by visual issues such as eyestrain, focusing difficulties, and poor eye teamwork. Many people who use computers, cell phones and other small electronic media devices feel eyestrain and headaches.
Syntonic Phototherapy treats the imbalance between the two parts of the Autonomic Nervous System: the Sympathetic Nervous System and the Parasympathetic Nervous System. Syntonic Phototherapy uses colored filters that are specific for specific problems. The filters are personalized for each individual based on a number of diagnostic factors. We use certain filters for headaches and migraine.
Vision Therapy treats the imbalance of the visual system; either inputting visual information, processing visual information, or in motor output of where the two eyes are pointing. These manifest as problems in eye teaming, tracking, etc. Problems in vision can lead to headaches. Solving the underlying problem can bring relief. The first step is to find the source of the problem.
Many people who have headaches realize that there is a vision problem at the root of it. The problem goes undetected and misdiagnosed because not all eye doctors look for and test for these problems. These problems are usually not detected in a general eye examination unless the eye doctor knows to look for these problems. Some eye doctors concentrate on the health of the eye itself, while some are experts in eye surgery and eye disease. The underlying reason for a vision-based headache is not a medical issue in the eye, but rather, it is a functional problem of how the two eyes work or don’t work, together as a team. Some are brain-based problems.
What kind of vision problems lead to frequent headaches? Problems with…
- Binocularity – how the two eyes line up to produce one image
- Physical Focusing – the medical term is “accommodation”.
- Convergence, Divergence, and Strabismus.
A comprehensive eye examination that looks for more than just eye health issues, is able to identify these problems. For example, the tests must include how the 2 eyes work together to obtain one picture in the brain, and how they work as a team at distance and at near In order to identify these problems, the doctor must test for near vision skills that are needed for reading and working on a computer.
Once we have completed a vision evaluation and arrived at a diagnosis, we can then design a program of Vision Therapy (VT) in order to solve these problems. Vision Therapy is different than physical therapy or occupational therapy and is specific to addressing problems of the visual system. We prescribe a program that is problem-directed, using special equipment, lenses, prism, filters, and computers. It is done in a specific logical sequential approach, similar to a curriculum that might be used when teaching a class. Vision Therapy gives someone the tools and enables patients to learn how to use their eyes to work together. This then enhances vision and relieves headaches and other vision-related symptoms.
In our office, we offer Vision Therapy in conjunction with Syntonic Phototherapy.
Syntonic Phototherapy has been used for over 90 years to treat eye conditions. Phototherapy balances the autonomic nervous system, which controls the perceptual visual field. Children with learning disabilities and adults under visual stress commonly have a reduced perceptual visual field and are unaware of it. Light entering the eyes joins together brain centers to allow normal visual processing to occur. The retina, the back part of the eye, is actually part of the brain and this is the reason that reaching the brain through the eyes is so effective.
In phototherapy, specific colored lenses are worn based on the individual’s problem. Typically they are worn for approximately 20 minutes several times a week while looking a light that is full spectrum. Wavelengths (lens colors) range along the visual spectrum: red, orange, yellow, lime green, and aqua green to dark blue, and purple. Each wavelength, and often combinations of wavelengths are used to treat an assortment of visual problems.
Issues that can be improved with vision and light therapies include:
- Convergence Insufficiency and Convergence Excess
- Esotropia and Exotropia
- Vertical heterophoria and Vertical strabismus
- Reduced concentration and comprehension
- Dizziness and balance issues
- Motion sickness
- Poor depth judgment
- Emotional fatigue
The following conditions can cause headaches:
- Eyestrain and fatigue
- Dry, red, watery, or itchy eyes
- Blurry vision
- Focusing and tracking difficulties
- Light sensitivity
- Double vision
- Brain Injuries, such as stroke, concussion, and Traumatic Brain Injuries