Friday, December 18, 2009

Good News ~ A Diagnosis and Treatment

I saw the optho-neurologist yesterday. For over four years my vision has been a real issue, with excessive eye-strain, light sensitivity, and double vision. All of the symptoms fluctuate, with no predictable pattern. It has been quite disabling and exhausting. I've seen an opthomologist, several neurologists, and finally was given a referral to see an opthoneurologist.

After a lengthy exam the doctor concluded that I have a congenital vision defect - have had it all my life - which splits my vision and distorts what I see. When I was a child I noticed that my vision would split, and I just thought it was a consequence of daydreaming. I'd 'pull it back together' by jolting my head and correcting it. However, as I age my brain cannot self-correct the image. Contributing factors are fatigue or exertion, excessive light, noise and intensity.

It has become increasingly troublesome now, as the splitting (double images) is not only double vertically, but also angles sideways. It is all askew, patterns superimposed on each other, in such a garbled image that it is exhausting. The fatigue that results impacts not only on my life, but on my brain.

Too much light, even with sunglasses, has caused blurred vision. It improved immediately when I put pinhole glasses on - glasses that block most of the light coming through. What I need is not dim light, but a small amount of really good light. When the image is crisp, the brain processes more efficiently.

The good news is that all of this can be corrected. The light sensitivity is due to cataract surgery and implants, but the disordered vision can be corrected by prism lenses and eye exercises to help strengthen the muscles. If that doesn't work successfully within a year, a simple surgery can be done on the muscles affecting both eyes which would restore the correct muscle tone. This surgery is routinely done on infants who have muscle problems affecting their eyes at birth.

The optho-neurologist also reviewed my brain scan, moving my skull images all around, from every angle. It was fascinating! He said my brain, eyes, and blood vessels are all healthy.

I'll be wondering what I'll look like - will I be wearing pinhole glasses and prisims? One way or another, I'll be wearing something, as my current vision needs an upgrade, even with my interoccular lens implants. And, I'll keep wearing my visor, even in the house, to cut the glare!


Wiener Pigs said...

Oh, Hallelujah and Congratulations! How does it feel to finally discover the root of your visual difficulties? I'm so happy you found this out. Good luck with exploring all your treatment options.

Bonita said...

I was elated beyond measure! All this time I was thinking I'd drunk too much coffee, consumed too much sugar with it, and clogged my arteries with bad food (animal products). I suspected glycation, then arteritis, at minimum a horrendous irreversable vision loss and an auto-immune disease. Of course the first neurologist said 'myasthenia gravis', and I lived with his 'come back in a year and we'll see how things are' for several follow-up visits.

I listened to the next neurologist say, "I won't give you a referral unless you are 100% committed to the work." Well, it took 8 monthes to figure it would be worth the expense and the work, if the doctor was correct in his diagnosis. I was too busy gardening to feel up to it, and the inconvenience of trips up to Seattle.

I learned how referrals are part of the game, and that you have to jump through so many hoops just to get to the top, where it really counts. Medicine should be simpler and more efficient.

Anonymous said...

So glad you got properly diagnosed, and that there is something that can be done to correct the problems you've been experiencing! I must say, when you were suspecting bad food, I was thinking, "then we'd all have double vision and worse!"
Very very happy that you continued to be proactive with the doctors. I agree, it shouldn't be so hard to get to the right doctor.


bubbie dear said...

Experiment, too, with creating a home environment that is restive and pleasureable. Whenever a factor in the environment causes stress, remove that stress. Your body will direct you and inform you as to what you need to be at your best.

Norma said...

Good luck to you and your ophtho-neurologist in finally finding a solution.

Jen said...

I'll be saying Long healing prayer today and you will be in it!:)

Lucy said...

Hi Bonita

I am excited for you that you found help with your visual problems. That is my passion, to help people who have hidden visual deficiencies to find help. I have a website about that , but have been getting ready to start a blog and rather neglecting it lately.
The term opthoneuroligist is new to me though.

I am former school teacher and seek to help those who need to hone visual skills with HTS , a professional software which enables you to do visual exercises on your computer. I love that system.

You can access that website through my website at if you are interested in finding out more.



Ruhiyyih Rose said...

YAY Mama - that is wonderful news. So happy! Yippie!

I once was blind but now I see...