Today was 7 weeks that I have been dealing with double vision. Seventeen years ago when I had a similar attack, it took the better part of three months to resolve. The steroid treatment I received was supposed to promote healing, any one have a feel for how long I may be dealing with this?
Although the double vision I had over a year and half ago has improved, it has yet to fully resolve. It's gone for the most part, but I notice it still when I'm fatigued. I would say that it was several months that I had a bad problem with the vision being doubled.
Double vision is awful. My bout of it lasted continuously for two months. Then it changed to a pattern of appearing each morning when waking up. It took a couple of hours each morning for it to clear. For months afterwards I would have DV only when looking in a certain direction.
That has been my experience with it. It varies so much it's difficult to say what to expect. Did you have high-dose IV SoluMedrol? That should dampen the inflammation.
Yes Karen99, I did have the IV steriods. Three 250 ml bags separated by 24 hours. When this happened 17 years ago, I had a little numbness and tingling on the left side along with the double vision, but I felt fine otherwise and went about my business. This time it has really knocked me down with the lack of endurance (which IS improving), jelly like left lower leg, and left hand clumsiness. I am concerned now that I am older (and the doctors like to remind one of that) that I am not going to bounce back like I did before. I have a followup with neuro tomorrow, we will see what he has to say.
I always wanna slap them doctors who like to rremind us we're older. Grrrr... Doctors keep getting younger, don't they?
My neuro-ophthalmologist recently prescribed a mild prism added to my left lens. It's supposed to train the brain somehow, which I don't understand, but it does seem to be helping somewhat. I can tell you one thing for certain: I see a dramatic difference now when I remove my glasses.
My double vision is slight; everything has double edges, which I can't seem to get to align with each other. The really weird part is that I have the same problem with one eye closed.
I am undx, so whatever I said may mean nothing to anyone else, but it's free.
Had my second nuero followup today. Got to say this doc was less than inspiring. He said that I should call neuro in 6 weeks if my vision has not resolved on its own and they would consult me to opthamology. He did prescribe a drug for the muscle spasticity, but said we will see you back in three months!
My double vision lasted a year. Actually, it never healed 100%, but what is left is so minimal and I've gotten so used to it that I don't even notice it unless I think about it.
My problem was in my left lateral gaze, though really at it's height it didn't matter which direction I looked. I was planning to get glasses with a prism in the left lens, though I ended up never getting one as every time I had my vision checked, every 3 to 4 weeks, it was changing, improving VERY slowly. So by the time I would've gotten the prescription filled, it would have changed since the original measurements. What I was told about prisms is different that Pastor Dan; I was told they trick the eye, not train it, meaning the prism reflects light in such as a way as to make the double images appear merged. Once you take off the glasses, the effect is gone. My ophthalmologist was very optimistic and encouraging at the beginning, certain that the problem would resolve in a matter of weeks. My neurologist was less committed; in fact he said from day one it might take a year or more or might never improve. I did have IV steroids a few weeks after onset: 1g X 5 days, though it seemed to help all of my symptoms except vision.
From all I've read, it would seem I was the rare case to take so long to heal. What's been said here is true, it is impossible to predict recovery from one individual to the next. Given your last bout of this *only* lasted 3 months, maybe this is an indicator that this bout won't last any longer than that this time? If you are able to have your vision checked every few weeks like I did, this would give you a sense of rate of recovery. Sometimes it seemed to me like it hadn't improved at all, but then there would be a slight improvement in my prism dioptres. This objective meaurement was helpful and gave me encouragement when I thought things weren't getting any better.
In the meantime, an eye patch will help at times when you really need to get that second image to disappear ie: driving, working, reading, going to the movies. I didn't actually drive for a full year, my problem being so severe for so long.
DV1, the "training" of my eye really is a trick; it seems noticeably better while I am wearing my glasses with the prism, but when I take my glasses off now, it is dramatically worse.
The eye patch, from what I've been able to tell, would probably do me no good, because I see two images with one eye closed, and it doesn't much seem to matter which one. Given that I see two with each eye, it would make sense to me that I might see four with both eyes open, but no, there are still two. The problem isn't in the eyes; it's in the brain (but then, we knew that already!).
Also, if anyone wears an eye patch, please be very careful driving. Seeing through only one eye will severely impact your ability to judge distances, particularly in such circumstances as estimating the speed of vehicles approaching at intesections or railroad crossings.
I'm sorry you're going through double vision again! That has been my most aggravating condition to date. My first bout began in Feb of last year, got about 95% better in April, and then the beginning of June, it very slowly, began to come back. Weird because my first episide in February, I woke up one morning with really bad double vision, I saw 2 of everything, and had to turn my head down and to the side to see 1. In June it was a gradual worsening of what had gotten better. That also took a few months to resolve. I know it is easier said than done, but be patient. Everyone's MS is individual, and even with the same symptom, recovery times very.
I was concerned that I had gotten it again so soon, if I was going to completely recover, but I did. It only comes back, slightly, when I am fatigued. If it doesn't improve, there is a surgery that they can do, where they split the muscles to the eye, and redirect them, so you can move your eye properly again. But they have to make sure you aren't still recovering. As my doctor explained to me, if they do the surgery and your nerves are still recovering, then your eye will "overcorrect" and you will have double vision again. But it is comforting to know that they can do something about it if you don't recover by yourself. Not that anyone really wants eye surgery, but still.
I agree that you have to be careful wearing an eye patch while driving, because you don't have peripheral vision, plus you don't have depth perception, so you have to be REALLY careful about not tailgating people. The solution that my neuro-opth told me was to put a piece of tape (opaque so you can't look through) over one of the lenses of your glasses (for me, it was sunglasses as I don't wear eyeglasses). That way, the double vision would be blocked, but you would still be able to see peripherally (but if you have double vision like PastorDan then obviously it wouldn't work, I can't IMAGINE having double vision even with one eye!). My dad pointed out, after months of wearing the tape on the outside of my sunglasses, looking like a moron, that I should put the tape on the INSIDE of my glasses. Works well and nobody can tell that I have tape on my glasses.
Another suggestion I forgot to make: there are press-on prisms of various degrees that you can affix to one lens that may also help to trick your eyes into seeing only one image. This only works with binocular double vision, not the monocular kind that PastorDan speaks of. In my desperate search for "passive compensatory treatment", I ordered a bunch of these in various measurements (to change out as my vision improved) from a doc somewhere in the U.S. I will dig through my system to see if I still have his email. Many optha- and optometrist offices I checked with (Canada and US) had never heard of such a thing. I never did end up using them as by the time I got around to buying a pair of glasses to affix them to, my problem was well on its way to resolving. I'd send them to you if I only remembered where I'd put them!
I also forgot I tried the tape method with some success, using translucent Scotch tape on cheap drugstore glasses with no prescription in them. The translucent actually blocked the second image fairly well while still allowing in light, and yes this was better than a patch as I still had my peripheral vision. Never tried driving like this though, too chicken to try.
One of our members who it would seem may have permanent double vision mentioned to me recently that she has resorted to an occlusion contact lens in one eye. This was also something I explored but in the end didn't need.
With respect to surgery: my understanding from my neuro and my ophtha-neuro is that this isn't indicated for double vision in MS caused by cranial nerve damage (the specific nerves that innervates the muscles that control eye movement). I was hopeful that this would be at least a last resort for me, but I was told it was not. I think how this was explained to me was that if it was the muscles themselves that were the problem, that surgery is sometimes an option to correct strabismus; but that in MS this problem is due to nerve damage and thus surgery on the eye muscles is not effective.
There is an informative blurb on diplopia on wikipedia:
http :// en. wikipedia .org / wiki / Diplopia
This has been an interesting thread for me as it reminded me of everything I had learned about diplopia and coping with it that I had forgotten. It also reminded me of how distressing it was, and I don't think those who haven't experienced it can understand how tough it can be, esp since it's not like you're in physical pain. But it can severely limit normal functioning, affect quality of life significantly, and shake one's confidence. I hope the suggestions everyone has made here are helpful to you in terms of some ideas to cope, as you wait patiently for recovery.
doublevision1, pastordan, tiredofbeingnumb, ufrustrated2, HVAC
Thanks all for the kind words and advise. Please know that I am very careful in driving, and don't drive at all at night. I like the idea of tape inside the glasses, may have to try that out with a pair of "cheap sunglasses" as the ZZ Top song goes. I guess I am getting around to realizing that theres not a hell of a lot that can be done for us beyond the DMD's and maybe some physical therapy (which I am scheduled to start on 2/9/10). I guess the big hurdle is getting to diagnosis, once you are there it is kind of a let down because not much can be done after that but maybe treat symptoms. Sinking in that this is a lifetime disease process now. This forum has been great for me, glad I found it when I did and I am starting to recognize some of the names now when I read thru the forum. We are all different in where we come from, the way this disease affects us, and the symptoms we exhibit, but the one thing we have in common is that we are fighters. Fighting to stay informed about our disease so we can better live our lives. Looking forward to a long association with all of you!
The press-on prism was how they decided whether or not I should have a permanent prism in my eyeglass lens. (I thought of it as more of a "cling" than "press-on," but that's what they called it, too.) It was a pain to clean, & after about the third week I lost it, somehow. When it turned up a few days later, it looked like it had teeth marks along a couple of its' corners, although it's possible that it had actually gone through the washing machine. Michelleric helped me understand how to properly re-apply it. There was no adhesive involved, but getting the bubbles out took some thought. Still, with its' damaged condition, I was very happy to get the permanent replacement.
Happy to hear that this forum has helped you. It's been great for me, and I don't even know what's wrong with me -- yet!
I am sorry to hear of your double vision. I would however, highly recommend going to a neuro-ophthalmologist or a pediatric-ophthalmologist who also sees adults with strabismus.
If your eye muscle misalignment is not too large, you are a perfect person to try a Fresnel Press-on prism. It is a sturdy piece of plastic and sticks to the inside of your lens and can help alleviate double vision temporarily.
I know double-vision has ordered these on her own, but you need an exam 1st to know which # Fresnel you need, if you do need them. I order them routinely for the office, and they are a HUGE help to many people.
So first I would recommend finding a doc who specializes in Strabismus, calling the office 1st and see if they use Fresnel prisms in their office.Then get going to that appt. No sense in being miserable if their is a way to help you in the mean time.
Are u in the US? I can give a list of many docs to you in the states, as well as outside the states if you need help finding one. Also, u need an Ophthalmologist, not an optometrist.
The next step in the "plan" is to get a consult to opthamology if my vision doesn't resolve in the next four to six weeks (per the neuro). The aggravating thing is I had a PRK procedure done a little over 2 years ago to do away with glasses! Not like I am real anxious to get back into glasses, just to be able to wear a prism. Oh well, take it a day at a time. Thanks all for the input. Sam
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