Double Vision, Dizziness & Anxiety

I remember being about 8 years old and attending Catholic School. The nuns were extremely strict, and they made us sit in rows according to how tall we were. I was taller than most of the other children so I would always end up sitting in the back of the class. This worked well until I hit age 8 and suddenly could not see the chalkboard anymore. We were learning multiplication and the nun would write a problem on the board and one by one we would have to give the answer to what she wrote on the chalkboard. Since I could not see what she was writing, the student next to me would whisper the answer. Because of this I did not really memorize the multiplication tables and struggled with math. Soon, my tactic stopped working and the school called my mother to tell her that I needed my vision checked.

I will never forget my first pair of glasses. At that time, if you wore glasses, you were considered a nerd. I did not care because for the first time in years I could see people's faces and realized that there were different shades of brown in the carpet in our house. I was amazed at the clarity of the world after living in haze for so long.

Over the years I transitioned from glasses to hard contact lenses, then soft contact lenses and then finally, in my 40's I decided to get Lasik eye surgery. I was wearing monovision contact lenses at the time, so I decided that I would continue with monovision with my Lasik surgery. The surgery worked well for about ten years and then I noticed changes in my vision again. It was not as sharp anymore.

I went to an optometrist and they tested my eyes and gave me prescription eyeglasses. The glasses made me feel dizzy and gave me headaches, so I did not wear them often. After a couple of years, I went to another optometrist who also gave me prescription eyeglasses. These glasses were a bit better, but I noticed that I was getting headaches and feeling dizzy. I then approached an eye surgeon and he told me that he could fix my problems with PRK (photorefractive keratectomy) surgery. I had the surgery and felt worse after. Not only I was getting dizzy and having headaches but now I was having some significant double vision and terrible anxiety when driving. When I went back to the surgeon with my issues, he told me that there was nothing he could do for me. So, I lived with dizziness, anxiety, headaches, nausea, and the double vision. The double vision was so bad that one night I did not see a step and tripped and hit my head ending up with concussion and ended up with post concussive syndrome.

Finally, I decided to pursue an answer to what was going on. This is when I ended up at Eye Care North and saw Dr. Julie Lam. Before my visit I filled out a binocular vision dysfunction questionnaire. I had never heard of this condition, but I was answering yes to almost every question. When I saw Dr. Lam, she examined me and told me that she suspected that I had binocular vision dysfunction, but I also had cataracts, so she referred me to a local surgeon who did a lens replacement in both eyes. I was thrilled that my vision was clear again, but I was still feeling dizzy, nauseous, and having daily headaches. Unfortunately, my double vision had not been corrected either and I was still having terrible anxiety when driving and in open spaces. I went back to her office and we discussed the option of prism glasses. I was reluctant to go back wearing glasses but after reviewing the material regarding binocular vision dysfunction that Dr Lam recommended, I decided to go for it.

Today, I'm wearing my second set of prism glasses and I may need to go up to a stronger pair but there has been an amazing change so far. The headaches have resolved, the dizziness and nausea are so much better and the extreme anxiety when driving has almost completely dissipated. Her optician, Melissa, was so helpful when helping me pick out the frames for my glasses and she went out of her way to make sure they fit perfectly. The front office staff were all very professional and friendly and the office is clean and comfortable.

These glasses are life changing for me because I was afraid to drive and be in social situations due to my vision problems. Now I feel comfortable around other people and in open areas. My driving anxiety has improved tremendously and I'm looking forward to complete resolution.

I highly recommend Dr. Lam and her staff.


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