Double Vision

Life with a TBI

 

I got some fancy new glasses this week! I figure if you have to start wearing new glasses, one may as well go for the hot PINK frames!!

 

Ever since my fall and resulting TBI 21 months ago, i’ve known something is “off” with my left eye. I had never been able to quite articulate what it felt like, other than “wonky” or “off” or “pulling” or “depth perception is off”.

I had been to my regular eye doctor who verified that my vision was fine and hadn’t changed. She suggested I talk with my neurologist. The neurologist sent me to the neuro opthamologist, who asked if I was seeing double. Since I am NOT seeing two of everything, my answer was always “no”. My eye, muscles, and tendons all looked healthy and fine so everyone brushed me off. It was SO frustrating because I knew something wasn’t quite right.

Because I love my regular eye doctor that I have been seeing for probably 11 years or so, I decided to circle back to her. I knew she would dig deeper into it and try to figure out my problem, or send me to someone else who might be able to.

Throughout my exam she kept asking if I was seeing double. I always answered with a “no” because I didn’t think I was. Well, color me silly. Turns out I actually was all along. However, it wasn’t traditional double vision and I wasn’t exactly seeing two of everything. My left eye (which is also my dominate eye) wanted to work overtime so that I don’t see two of everything, yet the muscles were tracking inward and causing me to see double. But because it was working overtime, I wasn’t traditionally seeing double vision. The “feeling” I was experiencing was severe eye strain from my eye working SO HARD all day long.

My fabulous doctor and her staff helped me pick out my fancy new frames. They are basically prescription reading glasses that I wear over my contacts for reading and computer usage. They help keep that left eye looking straight instead of inward, and offer it some relief from fatigue. I am noticing a major difference in how my eye feels after wearing these for just a few days! Especially while working at the computer.

Her hope is that as my brain heals, the eye issues will resolve themselves. She is also sending me to vision therapy (which I had asked neuro for MONTHS ago). It is frustrating that I was brushed off by everyone in Neuro, and that this issue could have been somewhat resolved months ago. But I am very thankful for Dr. Hurst and her amazing patience and extra time that she spent with me.

When you’re a photographer, and your livelihood relies on healthy vision, it is a huge relief to know that they “should” resolve themselves as time heals. Thanks again Stef for being a truly exceptional doctor!! And let this be a lesson to everyone out there to trust your feelings when you know something isn’t quite right, and to keep digging deeper for answers until you find them. I had almost given up, but felt so miserable I was determined to get an answer! (yay to being stubborn!)

Life with a TBI

5 thoughts on “Double Vision

  1. Thank you for this Amy. It absolutely rings true that you must follow your feelings…they are always telling us something. Just follow the breadcrumbs til you find the answer or find someone who can help you find the answer.

  2. If anyone else is frustrated with visual issues after TBI here are two resources to find out more information

    NORA- Neuro Optometric Rehabilitation Association has a website and information

    Also COVD- College of Optometrists in Vision Development , http://www.covd.org has information about vision rehabilitation and tools to find doctors that offer vision therapy.

  3. My husband has this issue but he has had double vision for 2 1/2 yrs. He had surgery to repair the muscle part because his brain injury came with facial reconstruction that probably moved his eye muscles so he was seeing both double side to side and up and down. Anyway some of that is better but he has been seeing double so long that one of his eyes took over and his other eye acts like it is patched even though it isn’t. He has prisms and is going to eye therapy trying to work on getting other eye to work. Fatigue definately makes it worse for him. He can have a totally different exam if he is tired.

  4. I see two images in each eye when I overstimulate my brain since TBI.

    Either eye even if the ither eye is closed…..so far no solution has been found.

    I just live with it and use it as a way to know I need to rest.

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