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Dizzy and Blur Vision while driving

I am a 43 yo female who recently started having major problems with dizziness while driving.  I recently started driving 2 hours to and from work.  I am having a difficult time explaining the symptoms.  I was driving home from work and began to feel like everything was moving too fast but I was sitting still.  My vision became blurred and I began  to be unable to focus.  I feel like my car is not touching the road and I have no control.  Medical History: Diagnosed w/fibromuscular dysplasia w/renal artery stenosis 7 years ago; gastric surgery 5 years ago;plastic surgery in July (breast reduction and tummy tuck; high blood pressure and I am hypoglecemic. My PCP states he heard something in my neck and has ordered a Caritoid Ultrasound but I am concern that this is not my problem and it is something we are missing. I am having a low grade headache;some low grade burred vision; dizziness when turning over in the bed and some facial pain behind my eyes.  Please tell me if we should be looking at other things.  I have to drive back and forth to work so any help would be greatly appreciated.
321 Responses
Avatar universal
You should check carotid ultrasound and also ophthalmic artery ultrasound to make sure you don't have any reason for your eyes to get ischemic in bright lights.   Also, get an EEG (electroencephalogram) with photostimulation.  Just in case.  This could also be a type of migraine aura if everything else is ok.
Avatar universal
I have exactly the same symptoms. Had EEG and MRI. EEG diagnosed migraine.  I have other symptoms too, always tired, visual disturbances, weakness down left hand side and strange feeling behind eyes, also eyes feel as if they adjust from near to distance on their own, even with eyelids closed. Taking 10mg amitriptyline but no improvement.
Avatar universal
Did anyone ever find a cause for this? It happens to me all the time! I have tried explaining my symptoms to the doctors, but they never understand and haven't ordered any tests. I have had this problem for 10 years. I am afraid at this point to go to anymore doctors, because in my state, I could lose my driver's license. Without that, I will be unemployed.
Avatar universal
I've had most of  the symptoms stated above for about two years now. I'm a 26 y/o male in otherwise very good health. At first, I thought I just needed glasses since I'm slightly nearsighted and the dizzy spells/increased heart rate/feeling of "fuzzy" eyes would happen each time I got behind the wheel at night. Unfortunately, the glasses didn't help and I'm now experiencing these symptoms during the daytime as well. It's getting to the point where I feel like I'm going to pass out of the freeway and have started driving in the slow lane to and from work in case this happens. My doctor says it's fatigue and stress, but it happen even after a good night's sleep. If anyone knows anything more about this, please let me know!
Avatar universal
I am 47 and experience exactly the same symptoms as you.So far no real diagnosis just expensive tests and pills that leave me still unable to drive any distance and very difficult to concentrate/sleeping much more than before. I have felt like this for 10 weeks now and seem to read lots of stories of similar sufferers on the web but all remain unable to find a solution.
Does this mean we have to stay like this forever?
Avatar universal
Hi, i am from Finland. I have the exact same symptoms. I have a bit of medical history with my hard and recently developed some minor migraine. Reading through the web, i concluded that is must be related to my migraine. Which is very hard to treat. There are some medications which helps to prevent the migraine attack. If i have these dizzy moments more frequently i will try to take one to see if it helps...      
Avatar universal
I've recently begun to have exactly the same symptoms as Jai38 but have no history of migraines.  I thought maybe it had to do with my vision changing.  Three years ago I had Lasik surgery.  My eyes have begun to deteriorate which I thought maybe was the cause of the dizziness but I am not so sure now.  It is definitely motion related.  It happens when I am driving on the freeway and is worse at night.  I have a long history of insomnia though.
Avatar universal
I have started experiencing this as well....I was driving to toledo the other day from Columbus and had to have my husband drive 1/2 way because I just couldn't see anymore...I started getting all jittery and couldn't focus and my head started pounding...its quite terrifying!  I don't know where to start looking for help!
Avatar universal
I have the same probIem, I am 45 years old and being driving for years but unfortunately, for couple of years I started to feel dizzy and unbalanced while driving on the highways for long time at a speed higher than 90 km/h (55 ml/h) specially at night.  It starts by feeling flashes at my head and then the difficulty starts. This problem does not occur while driving in the city.  I visited the EN&T doctor sometimes ago and he said I do not have an inner ear infection.  I visited eye doctor and no problem too.  Then I thought of it as driving phobia and started to take anti depressant drug but unfortunately, the problem still.  This issue is irritating me and I do not know what to do?!!!
Avatar universal
I'm a 41 yr male and have been driving since I was 16.  I am now experiencing the same thing you are! I thought I was having an anxiety attack or panic attack.  Recently I went to Disneyland and went on a roller coaster.  I got the same feeling of getting dizzy as when I'm driving.  I wonder if its a vertigo problem or a problem people have with motion sickness on a boat?  Could this be the same thing?  I'm going to ask my doctor about giving me some sort of motion-sickness pills and see if it helps.
Avatar universal
I've recently started to have the same symptoms. I'm 40. Have been driving since I was 16. Never had a fear of driving. All of a sudden one night I had to pull over due to a strange sensation of dizziness as if about to pass out. SInce then I've notice slight dizziness while drivnig on the freeway. Mostly at night but sometimes during the day. A first visit to the Dr. didn't reveal anything. I will probably see an eye doctor soon. Bright lights seemed to have something to do with it, but now i'm not sure since i had a similar episode during the day. I live in Los Angeles and need to drive for work so I hope I figure tihs out soon.
Avatar universal
does any one ever get headaches that cause your pupil to dialate jenn
Avatar universal
I've had the same problem for 2 years and I'm 38. I first noticed it while walking were it fealt like someone was pushing me down and I would lose balance and have to stop. Driving was worse as I would feel like I was going to pass out and my eyes couldn't focus on the road but kept darting to the left. I went in as they thought I was having a stroke. EKG and MRI showed no problems. All my blood work and pressure are normal. I then went to a EN&T and he checked my hearing and said I had slight hearing lose which I knew of since being in the military never was a problem before. I don't know who else to consult and the only relief I have is going to my Chripractor and getting a alignment. Another symptom I have is the sound of fluid moving in the back of my head. I notice it every morning right when I wake up.  He said I might have TMJ and I've being wearing a mouth piece at night but not much has changed. No headaches and I sleep fine but no clue what's causing the dizziness.
Avatar universal
i too rode a rollercoaster at disneyland in july. haven't been the same since. my symptoms have been a nightmare ever since. looking into chiari malformation. it can be triggered by rollercoaster or minor head trauma. i've been dx with POTS. my symptoms started mildly 8 years ago, but since disney they are unbearable. dizzy all the time with cardiac issues.
Avatar universal
all my symptoms that started 8 years ago started with unequal pupils while pregnant with my son. that's why i've contacted chiari care center. unequal pupils and POTS are symptoms of chiari.  Chiari is a skull bone malformation that presses on the cerebral tonsils which puts pressure on the brainstem....thus all the crazy symptoms. i just want answers.
Avatar universal
how were u diagnosed and testing and symptoms? and treatment??? from jenn
Avatar universal
wat type of symptoms and pots what is that?
557119 tn?1225275813
It took me years to find out what was wrong with me. I've been to Johns Hopkins, also.

Have an ENG. This is usually done at a balance center, Neurology clinic,  or Ear, Nose & Throat doctor.  I have BPPV which is aggrivated while turning my head, in bed or otherwise, and you can google that term and it will give you a host of information.  I also have Oscillopsia, aka jumping eyes.  Sometimes this is so subtle that others don't notice it and your doctor might not even pick up on it, but an ENG test will.  A good Neurologist should be able to do the EPLEY maneuver to give some indication if it's one of the problems or the only one.  My vision can be corrected 20/150 in the morning and later on be 20/200 or 20/300, etc... it oscillates.  I have migraine also. Debilitating ones. However, since I have been on this journey, I have discovered that there exists migraine WITHOUT HEADACHE!  My vestibulo-ocular reflex is also severely impaired, and if you get an ENG, the doctor will find that also.  If you have not had a brain MRI, I would also suggest that you have one.  I am struggling to drive. Some days, I am what would be considered legally blind.  Other days, my vision is great.  It varies a lot.  I have found that extreme changes in weather patterns also greatly affect me.  I take hydrocodone APAP 500 for my headaches.  I also take Cymbalta, it is a depression medication that is also used for neuropathic pain.  Of course, having this condition is enough to make a person get depressed!  I hope this has helped! It took me 2 years to find out I'd had a stroke/vertebral artery dissection, and several more years to discover nystagmus, then a couple more to find the BPPV as well as the Oscillopsia. I got on this forum with  hope that I can spare someone else the frustrating journey that I endured. Good luck.
Avatar universal
Pots is Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome. I had a tilt table test in July before Disneyland. Tested positive after standing for 10 mins. and heart went 145 bpm and pressure lowered. Now since my rollercoaster ride, I can't stand in lines at stores anymore....my blood pools in my legs and my heart races to get the blood back up to my brain...it is autonomic dysfunction.  Can' t work anymore.
Avatar universal
what's ur symptoms for chiari and how were u diagnosed?
Avatar universal
Does anyone have any updates on this or anything encouraging?  I am experiencing the exact same difficulties...
Avatar universal
I am almost in tears while reading this. I have finally found other people like me. I was ready to give up and just let people think I am nuts. I too, have never had a fear of driving and have driven cross country by myself many times. Unfortunately now, it takes all my nerve and strength to take my son to daycare and myself to work in the mornings and complete my journey home at night. Doctor's cannot figure out what it happening, it's hard to describe, been to ENT who prescribed water pills (no help), had eyes examined and new prescription (not helping) and it's been happening for a year and half now. I have been searching and searching for my own diagnosis, as this affects everything and every decision in my life. It usually only happens on the highway, sometimes I will get a touch of it on the city roads. My husband has finally witnessed this and is scared too. I'm so glad I found you all.
Avatar universal
I started having driving issues on the highway last year. Had to pull off as I felt dizzy and heart racing. Thought it was stress so started taking the bus to work. Then a couple episodes in town and they thought it was hbp. Had my eyes tested too, they were fine. Also have balance problems if walking too fast. They recently thought it was anxiety and put me on anxiety/anti depression pills and that just made me tired. I once had been diagnosed with sub clavian steal 8 years ago. I am going to be tested for that this week and hopefully gets some closure to this as I too won't drive on the highway. I need to find out what is going on as the drs are helping.
Avatar universal
Its nice to know other people have this. I have suffered for 3 years, had all the tests mentioned above.  I commute two hours a day on the highway and its horrible.  The doctors have found nothing wrong, my eyes are fine, my ears are fine, my brain is fine.it only happens while driving on the highway, not in town.. Took motion sickness medication and it helped for about a year, but all the symptoms came back.  I am now trying to figure out if looking at a computer monitor all day at work is causing this.  I read something about the flicker in monitors affecting other people in this way.  My boss upgraded all our monitors at work about the same time this started happening.
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