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Double vision

Rosie123

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Hi, I'm new here. I had a scary incident two days ago while walking the dog with my husband in the morning. Out of the blue I had a big wave of dizziness, and I walked a few more steps and noticed there was something wrong with my vision. There were two overlapping images (kind of side by side but a lot of overlap) of my husband, who was standing about 6 to 8 feet away. I felt a bit unsteady so I sat down on the sidewalk. I fiddled a bit with my glasses but that didn't help, and I blinked a lot and my normal vision returned and I was no longer dizzy. This entire episode lasted no more than 20 or 30 seconds. I do not know if one eye or two was involved. I didn't think to check and it was over pretty fast.

I've had other vision irregularities a few times. I think they are called retinal migraines where one eye has a shimmery light or a cracked glass effect (I don't get headaches). I have had three of these in my life, and they last around 15 to 20 minutes. I am 55 years old. But this double vision thing was new. I usually avoid doctors but I called for an appointment with my eye doctor, but he can't get me in for 3 weeks. I read that dry eyes can maybe cause this, and it is true that my eyes were dry and kind of burning or scratchy feeling so I bought some artificial tears. That seems to have helped with the dryness anyway.

Today I just feel exhausted, worse than yesterday, actually. I didn't sleep too well, and I have a lot going on. My nearly 92 year old dad fell again and was in the ER on Sunday (he is OK), and my school year just started a few weeks ago and it's been a little stressful.

Mostly I'm concerned that this double vision incident could indicate a bigger problem, and that I might have it happen again. Has anyone had something similar?
 

Akenn

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Hi, I'm new here. I had a scary incident two days ago while walking the dog with my husband in the morning. Out of the blue I had a big wave of dizziness, and I walked a few more steps and noticed there was something wrong with my vision. There were two overlapping images (kind of side by side but a lot of overlap) of my husband, who was standing about 6 to 8 feet away. I felt a bit unsteady so I sat down on the sidewalk. I fiddled a bit with my glasses but that didn't help, and I blinked a lot and my normal vision returned and I was no longer dizzy. This entire episode lasted no more than 20 or 30 seconds. I do not know if one eye or two was involved. I didn't think to check and it was over pretty fast.

I've had other vision irregularities a few times. I think they are called retinal migraines where one eye has a shimmery light or a cracked glass effect (I don't get headaches). I have had three of these in my life, and they last around 15 to 20 minutes. I am 55 years old. But this double vision thing was new. I usually avoid doctors but I called for an appointment with my eye doctor, but he can't get me in for 3 weeks. I read that dry eyes can maybe cause this, and it is true that my eyes were dry and kind of burning or scratchy feeling so I bought some artificial tears. That seems to have helped with the dryness anyway.

Today I just feel exhausted, worse than yesterday, actually. I didn't sleep too well, and I have a lot going on. My nearly 92 year old dad fell again and was in the ER on Sunday (he is OK), and my school year just started a few weeks ago and it's been a little stressful.

Mostly I'm concerned that this double vision incident could indicate a bigger problem, and that I might have it happen again. Has anyone had something similar?
Do you have blood pressure problems or take medication?
 

Rosie123

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My blood pressure is normal at home but high in a doctor's office due to extreme anxiety there (this has been an issue since I was a teenager, am 55 now). I monitor it at home (usually just several days a year) where it probably averages 115/81, lower in the evenings. No prescription daily meds; I do have ativan which I take as needed. 30 tablets lasts me a year. I have recently started a prescription low dose estrogen cream for menopausal symptoms which I use a couple of times a week. Thanks for replying, by the way.
 

Akenn

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My blood pressure is normal at home but high in a doctor's office due to extreme anxiety there (this has been an issue since I was a teenager, am 55 now). I monitor it at home (usually just several days a year) where it probably averages 115/81, lower in the evenings. No prescription daily meds; I do have ativan which I take as needed. 30 tablets lasts me a year. I have recently started a prescription low dose estrogen cream for menopausal symptoms which I use a couple of times a week. Thanks for replying, by the way.
I had low blood pressure most of my life but at some point my doctor says I had undiagnosed hypertension. Since mine is opposite of yours and mine is normal at all doctors visits they never told me I had high blood pressure. At some point I started to feel worse and ended up admitted to hospital for chest pain. They sent me home with blood pressure medication which gave me terrible side effects. But leading up to that I noticed vision changes and was seeing blurry. This worsened on medication but has since cleared up mostly. My blood pressure is not usually high but doctor now says I do need medication since I likely spike some time during day. I had only 2 high readings in hospital which I was extremely nervous and in procedure 145/92 and 138/89. I monitor at home and highest I get is 125/84.. after I take medication its 106/74 and sometimes lower. I take it after walking outside for my morning walk 113/76. He has me on very small dose and says anything over 130/80 is now considered hypertension. He is happy with the top number but since my bottom number sits sometimes at 82,84,86 he wants me on medication. I hope you figure it out. Best wishes
 

Rosie123

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Blood pressure is a tricky thing for sure, because it is affected by so many factors, including emotional factors. But this instance of double vision only lasted 30 seconds. I have not correlated vision issues with high blood pressure-- if that was the case, I'd have blurry vision every time I was near a doctor... and I don't.
 

Akenn

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Blood pressure is a tricky thing for sure, because it is affected by so many factors, including emotional factors. But this instance of double vision only lasted 30 seconds. I have not correlated vision issues with high blood pressure-- if that was the case, I'd have blurry vision every time I was near a doctor... and I don't.
I hope you find out what is causing it. Keep us posted.
 

Rosie123

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Thanks! So far so good (Meaning it hasn't happened again yet).
 

bdeschaine

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Hi Rosie: I have had double vision. I am 59. I first got it at 54, I have gotten it maybe twice a year. If I cover an eye, it goes away. Seems like both eyes are not teaming together. I was freaked out by it. After getting it a few times, I had an mri, also a blood test for myaestenia gravis. Both negative. I had it during a period of high stress. I was taking care of my dad, he was dying from liver cancer. I also had financial concerns and stress taking care of one of my kids. Since then, I occasionally get it. I got it day after my dads funeral. I also had several eye exams. No one knows whats causing it. One doc said that I have slight exoforia where the eye turns out a little and the brain fuses the images, but sometimes during high stress or illness , this correction process breaks down for a brief period. Very scary, one time got it while driving, had to cover one eye to bring the car to the curb. Let me know if u find out what yours is . Good luck
 

Rosie123

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Thank you bdeschaine, that sounds pretty similar, right down to the dad caregiver stress. I actually do not know if it was in one eye or both for me, as I didn't think to test it. Can I ask you how long your episodes tend to last? Mine was really quite short, less than one minute and then it cleared. Were you at all dizzy when it happened? The dizziness was what I noticed first, right before I noticed the double vision.
 

bdeschaine

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I was not dizzy. My wife and I raised 4 children and my wife was early forties, myself late 40s and we we're blessed with 5th child. I was laid off and took care of our newborn. During this time I had some weird symptoms, one being vertigo a day after a dental implant. I had lots of tingling and twitching, in the back of my mind thought I had Ms. I went to the gym every day and actually despite weird symptoms felt pretty good. Then my dad got sick, I built an addition for him to live with us and the builders cheated us. Then my wife fell down broke her arm in 4 places and had paralysis in her hand. Around this time I got sick, thought I had strep throat. I got up and blew my nose and got the double vision. Not dizzy, but terrified. About 5 months later was getting daughter ready for school and had another one. Since then had I think 8 or 9 times. No weakness. Can walk and see fine if I cover one eye had an MRI, echo, eye exams. They last about a minute. Sometimes I think it might be when I change my gaze quickly and eyes don't adjust fast enough. Doctor seems to think it's psychogenic oriented, conversion disorder from intense stress. Have other weird symptoms, lately ears ringing.
 

Rosie123

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If there is anything I know about anxiety, it is that it can take many forms.
When you have the double vision, is there overlap in the images, or is there space between them?
 

bdeschaine

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I remember stopping at CVS to let it pass and one CVS sign on top of the other, don't think there was much space between them
 

Rosie123

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Update: just back from the eye doctor, since it took me this long to get an appointment. He did every high tech test possible and nothing wrong was found with my eyes. No glaucoma (a special test for a certain marker for glaucoma was also negative), no macular degeneration, and my optic nerve, arteries, retina, etc all looked fine. Peripheral vision was fine. I have the very beginning of cataracts and I have thin corneas, along with nearsightedness and astigmatism, but I already knew all of that, so nothing new was found. He thought that this brief episode of double vision could be due to stress, lack of sleep and/or dehydration, and that possibly a glitch in one of the eye nerves or an eye muscle spasm might have caused it. It's been 4 weeks now and it hasn't happened again (but if it does I'm gonna check and see if one or both eyes have it). I think that I was pretty stressed about this appointment because it had a lot of tests, which took a while, and I was afraid that something bad would be found. Let's just say I am pretty exhausted right now because anxiety is exhausting, but overall I feel better. Thanks to bdeschaine also for letting me know someone else experiences this and that it doesn't have to be due to anything bad.
 
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