Double Vision

I recently suffered a Ischemic stroke last month . I woke up unable to walk and have double vision because of damage to the brain stem . Luckily I am now mobile albeit with ataxia meaning I walk into things because of my balance . When I first had double vision it was vertical, few weeks later it became horizontal . Two days ago I woke up semi awake to go to toilet and I had single vision ! I was ecstatic ! Lasted 5 minutes and the double vision came back ! :sob: Yesterday I noticed I now have mixture of single and double vision . If I focus on something it becomes single but everything else surrounding it is still double . I’m wearing a patched glasses at the moment but it’s uncomfortable and depressing . My emotions are like a yo yo . One minute I’m ok and next I’m bursting into tears and having a moan . Everybody says it’s good to let out your emotions but I can see my family suffering because of it. My question Is to you out there is there any signs I should look out for when one vision changes for the good ? I have asked optometry and opticians but they refuse to comment . They have given the standard reply everybody is different and cannot give a answer . What depressing me is the uncertainty . I know why they say this but I just need a indication . So sorry for the length of this post .
Steven

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Hello Steven,

Sorry to hear about vision probs. Are you taking any medication to prevent another stroke? With me that medication caused double vision, and I hated it. When it was stopped, about a month after my stroke, my vision firmed up. I called it the “looney pill” and eyesight went back to normal when I stopped the looney pill for good.

You are not far past your stroke, and there’s every chance things will stabilize. At the moment your body is still clearing up after your stroke (a breach of the blood / brain barrier).

Good luck, ciao, Roland

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Shwmae Steven, sorry to hear of your recent stroke, and troubling vision issues. As you may be aware, the brain stem plays an important role in eye movement. Not knowing the extent of the damage to that area, and how much of that responsibility may need to be taken over by other parts of the cranial network, there are exercises that may help improve your vision. I had a cerebellar stroke, which has caused prolonged visual issues, including double-vision, blurred vision, and nystagmus. I am three years on post stroke, although, I have improved, I still have regular occurrences of these things. Exercises like using Brock strings to re-train sight convergence, pencil push ups, and other visual rehabilitation can spark new pathways to control that function again.

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Hi Pando
Yes I am on blood thinning , Clopidogrel, statin, aspirin, something to protect the stomach and something for diabetes ( not metformin as I can’t take that ). Not sure of the names as I am not home. Was there any signs before you regained vision ?

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Steven,

Hi again. No sign that it was clearing up. With me once I stopped a particular medication it just all snapped together. Rups is right in pointing out the relevance of the brain stem ; in particular the Pons is involved with diplopia (double vision). The point about vision is that it involves many different parts of the brain / involves most parts of the brain, you could say.

I don’t think any of your current medication would cause a problem with eyesight. I would just hang in there, patiently, and wait for the body to clean-up post stroke. There’s a documentary called “Heal” that I would recommend (to everyone). It encourages you to focus your strength on rest and repair. You need to keep your mood positive…

Wishing you a great outcome ; ciao, Roland

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Hi Steven, welcome to this forum. Sorry to hear of your stroke and your current vision problems. I have no experience of double vision but as you will have gathered, there a stroke survivors on here who have.

We are a merry band of stroke survivors who have all suffered different types of strokes and are on very different roads to recovery. There is always someone here who can offer some advice and support.

Hope you get your vision problems sorted and wish you well in your recovery. Look forward to hearing from you for an update

Regards Sue

Hello @StevenY.
I too had a brain stem ischaemic stroke, mainly affecting my midbrain. July 21.
My understanding is that there can be improvement in eye movement, but it is unpredictable and uncertain. I have never been offered any surgery to improve the eye position as I have a useable area of single vision for reading, watching the TV etc so I have had to learn what tasks to do with which glasses.
I had some improvement within the first few months but nearly 3 years on I still have to patch my glasses for moving around and driving.
Patching glasses is certainly depressing, affecting my appearance, confidence, and ability to look behind me on that side. However it allows me to manage some of my balance issues (I am very off balance with no patching and tend to stagger), get around and also drive. I’ll take the patching.
You are very early in your rehabilitation, things could improve, but just wanted to let you know life goes on if you do have to use a patch.
Julia

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Hi JuliaH
Thanks for your reply ! Hope you are well . I too currently are wearing a patched glasses . Did you ever get used to it. It irritates me and I constantly take it off but then I get headaches and dizziness due to the double vision . How did you cope with the glasses ? Tried the frosted glasses but no good . Actually ordered the pirate eye patch and try that out .
Thanks !
Steven

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@StevenY hi & welcome to the community. Sorry you’ve had cause to join us. Whilst it is frustrating the specialists probably can’t give you a timeline of when things will prove as it really is so different for everyone.

Ask your optometrist if there are any exercises you can do to help. You are very early on in your recovery journey & you will hopefully find that your vision will improve over time. Stroke recovery is a marathon not a sprint as you’ll come to realise.

The emotions being all over the place is another common thing after stroke. That too should settle in time. For me it is much better than it was early on but has never gone. Worse when I’m fatigued.

There is a lot of uncertainty around stroke recovery. In time you will learn to accept this. I kept a diary to chart my progress so when i was feeling low i’d look back & could see the progress i’d made.

Good luck with your recovery.

Ann

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Hello again @StevenY.
Sympathies around the nausea- I suffered badly with this initially, it did get easier, almost non existent now.
In answer to your question, I have not got used to the patching as it is my better vision eye I have to patch so I feel like I am drawing a shade every time I put the glasses on, along with a blind spot. As I said before, in what I want to achieve with this I am learning to adapt and ultimately accept. You cannot drive with any hint of double vision, but you can drive with monocular vision ie. patching one eye. Also you have to agree to something with the DVLA that you have allowed sufficient time to become used to the difference in judging distance because you rely on monocular vision.
Initially I used an opaque patch over my glasses, but I found it drew too much attention, I needed it to stop distracting double images, but I manage now with an online bought adhesive patch. The hospital never offered me frosted glasses, I had to tolerate a sticking adhesive plaster dressing for over a year as a patch. No comment.
Any thing needing clarification about what I have mentioned, please PM me,
Julia

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Hi @StevenY just popped in to welcome you to the forum :people_hugging: As you’ve now heard, stroke recovery is a marathon and yes, your emotions are all over the place. And that’s to be expected since you’ve just come through a life threatening trauma, that’s major!

I personally haven’t experienced visual issues, but the fact that you’ve had these moments of visual clarity shows promise. It shows the brain is working hard to get it back, that the connection is still there and can work, just misfiring. So I suspect you’ve much room for improvement over the coming year, so don’t lose hope :wink:

I was like that with foot drop, walking correctly built up over the years; I’m 3yrs post stroke. But it went from just a brief moment, to a couple hours, to virtually all day. Now I only get it when I’m tired after a particularly busy day.

You’re only a month into your recovery with all the potential of making much more recovery just over the next 5 months :smile:

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Hi @StevenY
Welcome to the forum but sorry you’ve had a reason to join us - yes I’m a bit late to the thread ! :frowning:

There’s very little that pisses me off as much as that phrase. It’s 100% unhelpful & damaging to one’s mental health at a time when it’s frail. Yes everyone has a unique combination of impacts but actually every impact has a common norm and maybe a collection of outlier manifestations so describing the norm and some of the outlier would give everybody much more useful information. If this wasn’t the case there would be no point in training these people or in paying them to claim specialist knowledge in a field :frowning:

Also opticians are dealing with your eyes which are very likely working perfectly.
You’re asking the wrong people cuz you need somebody who understands your how your brain processes the visual signals which would be a neuro ophthalmologist - IME using Google scholar it’s a useful way to identify what the possibilities are. The opticians should have explained it to you and offered a referral to somebody with the appropriate expertise - Not having done so it was me with questions about competency…

I think the others have pretty much covered much of what can be a norm but you might find the welcome post says a bit more

Caio
Simon

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