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I'm not able to focus or give eye contact, what can I do to live a normal life?


I have been dealing with vision problems for the last 2 years and have gone to some specialists but haven’t gotten any relief. I have been wearing distance glasses since I was a child but no other visual issues before that.

Since 2019, I have noticed an increasing difficulty in focusing and keeping eye contact during conversations. This was compounded in Dec 2019 when I was involved in a car accident which led to post-concussion symptoms. After that accident I developed light sensitivity and more difficulty in focusing. I went to a concussion specialist, optometrists, opthamologists, chiropractors, etc. Nothing impactful came out of MRI’s, x-rays, etc.

After 6 months of being off work, I returned to the post-covid WFH workplace with a very progressive return to work plan. This initially worked well for me as I was able to work from home and take breaks as needed. My light sensitivity mostly subsided and I was even able to take a multi-day trip being outside.

My biggest issue at this point was eye contact and being on zoom meetings all day - I’m in management. In fall 2020, I was told that my computer/screen time issues were due to the fact that I needed computer glasses. I got a pair of these and it substantially improved me being able to work on the computer - which is my whole job.

At the end of 2020 and was able to go on a 2 week honeymoon in the rockies and west coast where I was outside everyday and it felt great. The next few months over the winter - I live in the north east - passed fine as I was mostly inside and didn’t see too many people.

Over the last couple months however as the weather has gotten nicer and I am going outside more for walks and hikes, I am having many issues. This seems to be getting worse every week which really worries me. My main issues are

1) I am not able to have eye contact in conversations as it hurts my head, gives me nausea and I have to really strain my eyes to stay focused. This is the same thing whether it’s in person or on zoom. I have stopped turning my camera on for zoom meetings ove the last couple months. With the camera on, I get dizzy and can’t focus within minutes.

2) When going outside, it feels like I cannot open my eyes fully given all the visual stimulus. I have to wear a hat or something else that occludes my vision. I attempted to go to the beach yesterday and I just couldn’t take it. I wasn’t able to look at the water and everything with my eyes fully open. I have to really work and strain to look unless i purposely limit my area of focus

3) Things like driving are getting difficult for me just recently. I’ve found that I can’t drive unless I focus very hard and strain my eyes. I also have to use my hands to hold my head in place to stabilize or I’ll lost it in a minute.

I’ve been seeing a vision therapist very irregularly over the last 6 months - like once every 2 months. She said that my issue is that my eyes don’t work together well when focusing. She’s given me various exercises like the Hart chart, but I’m not seeing any positive results. I’m also paying out of pocket for these sessions right now, though I maybe able to get it covered later.

The last time I went, last month, she said that the issue was actually that I had the wrong prescription, but the new prescription she gave me doesn’t seem to work. I can’t see distance well with it - though it does hurt less. I think it was an honest mistake.

With these issues, I don’t see how I can go back to an office and work again. I’m considering just quitting my job but then I don’t know what I would do. My biggest concern is that the issues are getting worse and not better over time. I’m getting really scared for what this means for my career and ability to support myself - I’m in my 20’s now.

Any help or insights would be greatly appreciated
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233488 tn?1310693103
You problem sounds like an eye muscle problems (strabismus). You need to see a special kind of Eye MD called a strabismologist. Because most eye muscle problems are in children they are also called pediatric ophthalmologist although almost all of the need adult.  Most large size communities have at least one, most ophthalmology medical school departments have one. it is worth it to seek out this type of eye MD with special eye muscle training.
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