Subscribe to my FREE newsletter
Be the first to know about new articles!
blog hero image (1)

Brain injury blog by survivor

Brain injury blog by survivor



Subscribe to my FREE newsletter
Be the first to know about new articles!
blog hero image (1)

Brain injury blog by survivor

Brain injury blog by survivor



I had always had good vision which I (like most people) took for granted. Being a pretty good artist of sketches and oil paintings, my sight was a blessing. I’d never worn glasses and assumed that wouldn’t change until I was old. Well I’m now eating my hat because following my brain injury I have double vision. Usually its just a slight overlap, but it can be a lot worse.

Stress affects me badly

As I previously mentioned in Stress has a big impact on brain injury, stress has a considerable effect on survivors. This day was no exception. I had an appointment in London to get to, and my Partner James had taken the afternoon off to take me. I’m not sure what had happened that morning, but I was tired and confused. But the worst part was my sight. I saw two of everything and couldn’t really tell where objects were in relation to me. So I was relieved that James was able to drive me to my appointment.

Don’t count your chickens when you have double vision as you’ll never get it right

We left in plenty of time, James had booked a parking space for the day so we were going to get there early and have some lunch. Just as James was trying to accelerate to join the Motorway the engine warning light came on. The management system limited the revs so there was no acceleration. This was bad news, so we took the car to the nearest dealership for them to look at it. Leaving the car with them we took a taxi to the railway station. Luckily as we had left early, although our journey was going to take a lot longer now, we might still make it.

Negotiating the stairs at the station and on the train, was difficult with my double vision, but James helped me. As unsettling as it was to travel when I was so disorientated, so far I was coping. But all the time I was worried we might not make it in time for my appointment with the Neurosurgeon. ( I didn’t ever have surgery, but when I had my car accident that was the team that looked after me.) The added pressure was making it impossible for me to relax enough to allow my double vision to improve.

But the worst was yet to come….

Once the train pulled into the station we needed to use the London underground to cross to virtually the other side of London. Getting a bus or taxi was out of the question. The traffic in London meant that it would take too long. Our only hope was to use the over packed “tube”.

When people are in a hurry (which in London is all the time) they are speedily trying to dart in and out of the crowds, and might accidentally (or not) shove you. Normally I would try to make space for people trying to pass me, particularly as I wasn’t able to walk fast due to the nerve damage in my left leg. But with my double vision, I couldn’t tell exactly where they were, or which way I should dive. In the confined space of the “tube system” this was terrifying!

And as for escalators, every time I got on or off them I felt I was gambling with my life. James helped by holding my hand and counting down when I should step. But even then I kept getting it wrong. The vicious thing tried to drag me away like a shark attacking a surfer. James held on and righted my balance, saving me from disaster umpteen times.

Following my brain injury I started to have double vision when I was tried or stressed. But one day it was a nightmare on the London underground............
My brain injury caused me to start having double vision. But why?

I survived

After dicing with death, happily we made it in time. It was close  but they were running behind, so it probably didn’t matter that much anyway. But having time to relax whilst we waited really helped. So although the journey back was tough, it didn’t have so many heart stopping moments.

And in case you’re wondering about the car……

The dealership didn’t find what it was but removed the error from the system so it was driveable.  It happened again a few times and a family run garage  eventually found it was the engine filter. So that did get sorted in the end.

The moral to my story…

We are used to the visually impaired using a white stick, or walking with a guide dog. Please remember that there are people out there who might not have had a diagnosis yet an so could still be battling without these aids. I know that sometimes it feels like time is against us, but we are all racing against the same clock, lets just make sure we all get there.

Do you struggle with double vision? What would to like others to know about how that feels?


6 replies on “Double vision trouble from brain injury”

Hello. Is your double vision a constant thing or just an occasional problem when stressed!

The reason I ask is that there are prism lenses available that will correct double vision from your brain injury. I was prescribed these lenses to use for about six months after my injury. It eventually cleared on its own for the most part with the exception of extreme upward gaze.

Maybe your optometrist can help out?

Thanks Maxine. I was also prescribed prism lenses which helped a bit, but didn’t resolve it. It’s definitely worse when I’m stressed but it’s always there, weirdly even if I shut one eye! I guess I’m just special ?

After my TBI I had double vision for a while, similarly it was worse when fatigued, which I often was. Onto of that I had vestibular damage, at times it made things rather difficult as when the world spun they didn’t always spin at the same rate.

Onetime, taking the tube home from work I ran into my downstairs neighbour just before we arrived at Hainault underground station. He himself was loosing his eyesight due to his diabetes and had his white stick with him. As we approach the high concrete stairs we were discussing which of us should really be helping the other down them. We paused for only a second at the first step and I was immediately pushed from behind by a commuter who took offence to be delayed by almost a whole second. Luckily I managed to grab the handrail and stopped myself from suffering a further injury that almost certainly would have otherwise happened. OK so my injury was hidden from them but pushing a guy at the top of the stairs who is helping another that’s carrying a white stick? A stunning display of ignorance and selfishness.

Honestly, some people don’t think though the consequences of their actions. It’s bad enough when accidents happen when a person is rushing and by brushing past someone they knock them over, but to deliberately push them because you’re running late and causing them a fall is completely unacceptable. I’m so glad you and your friend were ok after this.

I was going to get drooping eye lid consult and mentioned to the dr that I have double vision in both eyes he refused to go any further and has sent me to a double vision specialist I’m confused why he was alarmed I do have glaucoma wide angle have had several corrective surgeries

Perhaps he thought it was better that they be treated together as it both the double vision and dropping lid are symptoms of the same problem.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Blog newsletter

Get an email which gives you an introduction into the topic of the latest post so you never miss one again. If you ever change your mind and decide you no longer want to receive these emails there will be an unsubscribe link included at the bottom of every one, so you have nothing to lose!