Nerve Palsy

My husband had lung surgery on the 19th of September, and that’s when I noticed I was seeing double out of my right eye. My eyes had been blurry off and on for 2 days previous, but I contributed it to I needed a change in my glasses. My husband stayed in the hospital and I drove home. What a nightmare! The freeway lines squiggled all over the place and I couldn’t tell if I was driving in between the lines or swerving all over the place. I called my doctor’s office when I got home, but it took the nurse the rest of the day to get back to me. What should I do?

I called the eye doctor and made an appt. I called a friend to drive me there. By this time, I couldn’t keep my eye open and I had a throbbing headache over my right eyebrow. The doc sent me to the ER for a MRI scan. He was afraid I might be having a stroke or a bleed in my head. The scan came out negative. I returned to the eye doc and after several exams, he determined I had inflammation in the back of my eye and put me on steroid eye drops 4 times a day. After a week of drops, my headache resolved, yet I still was seeing double. If I looked forward everything blurred together.

I returned to eye doc and he wanted me to continue the drops for 3 weeks. I was able to open eye and my eye pressure was down. What about the double vision? After the inflammation out, he plans o sending me to a neuro-opthalmologist. In the meantime, I researched on my own with the help of my sister that works in an eye clinic. I possibly have 6th nerve palsy. What is that?

6th nerve palsy is a disorder that affects eye movement. The 6th cranial nerve’s function is to send signals to the lateral rectus muscle located on the outer side in your eyes. It’s responsible for turning your eye away from your nose. When this muscle weakens, your eye crosses inward toward your nose. Double vision is the most common symptom. It happens when looking in the direction of the damaged eye, but also you may notice vision impairment when both eyes are open or when you’re looking at something in the distance. I have all 3 of these. Another symptom that can happen is crossed eyes or when your eyes don’t look in the same direction at same time. This disorder can happen as a result of inflammation. Other causes are injury to head or a skull fracture, and damage to nerve during labor. Other conditions causing it range from stroke, Lyme infection, brain tumor, meningitis, diabetic neuropathy, MS, and brain aneurysm.

Treatment for double vision includes wearing an eye patch or wearing prism glasses. The disorder may last 3-6 months.

eye ball sculpture
Photo by Matthew T Rader on

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