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Forum Name: Neurology Topics

Question: Blurry Vision and Disorientation


 nords2525 - Thu Oct 29, 2009 6:48 pm

For the last 5 or so years I have experienced a visual disruption that has gotten increasingly worse in the last 6-8 months. The visual experience is very hard to describe and it feels like it is more than just my eyes that are affected now; disorientation, headaches and spacial issues have started to arise. The vision issue can be described in a few ways; like looking straight into a light then trying to focus, a white haze and movement or action is too fast for me to handle. I feel as if I cannot concentrate on moving objects or stationary objects if I am moving or it gives me a headache/makes me feel a sense of disorientation.

I also have substantial pain in my sinuses; cheeks, eyebrows, under my eyes and recently on the very top of my head. The pain is always noticeable, but generally only hurts if I touch any of the areas.

I have tried figuring this out on my own in a number of ways:
I thought caffeine made it worse, so I stopped caffeine intake but nothing changed.
I thought it was lights, so I wore sunglasses, even in doors. Did not help and this experience happens at night and in the morning when I first wake up so I ruled out lighting.
I have tried using Sudafed and saline nose spray in case it is a sinus issue; no positive results.
I thought it might be stress because it happens frequently at work, but it also happens when I am literally doing nothing but sitting at home in a stress free environment.

I have tried my best to find triggers but this issue comes and goes with no real definite reason (that I can see). Sometimes the experience will last only a few hours, sometimes an entire day. I have found that sometimes alcohol can tone it down a little bit but this is pretty anecdotal and I don’t have any proof that it works.

An Optometrist thought it was intense eye strain from being far sighted and undiagnosed. She prescribed me contact lenses to wear at all times to correct the issue and all that happened was that I had difficulty seeing clearly because of the contacts.

An Ophthalmologist found nothing conclusive.

ENT found nothing conclusive.

CT scan and MRI of my sinuses and brain found no abnormalities.

Please help me.
 John Kenyon, CNA - Fri Oct 30, 2009 10:52 pm

User avatar Hello -- I note you've had MRI of the brain done, so am wondering if you've seen a neurologist in regard to this problem. While the other rule-outs made sense as starting points, the thing may be a little more complex, especially since you find manual pressure on your head can aggravated tenderness and you have visual disturbances. I'm thinking there may be some problem with one of the cranial nerves, perhaps inflammation due to a virus. You actually could have the occular form of herpes simplex/shingles, and while this is sometimes difficult to determine in the general practice setting, a good neurologist should be able to uncover it if present. This is my best guess based on what you've mentioned here, and it does happen, although it is relatively rare. The visual disturbances and scalp tenderness does strongly suggest occular herpes. This is something which, if present, needs to be treated to avoid damage to the eyes. If it's not this at least a neurologist will be best suited to figure out what's actually going on.

Hope this helps. Please let us know how things develop. Good luck to you!
 nords2525 - Tue Nov 03, 2009 1:55 pm

Dr. Kenyon,
Thank you for the response. I was able to retrieve old CT and MRI reports from when the blurry vision and disorientation fist started.

MRI were unremarkable except for one area, which at the time was not a cause for concern, could this be an issue or is it something I should look into further:

Asymmetric intracranial carotids, the left larger. This is attributed to anterior cerebral circulation being supplied virtually exclusively by the left carotid.
 John Kenyon, CNA - Sun Nov 08, 2009 4:27 pm

User avatar You're very welcome. While the MRI findings were unremarkable at the time (this abnormality does show up in a small but discrete minority of otherwise healthy patients), the abnormality cannot be excluded as a possible contributor to your current symptoms and should be explored further. It's not generally a cause for concern because accomodation is made through remodeling. However, this is not always successful in preventing certain imbalances in blood supply, and given your symptoms this would seem at least a suspect to be examined more closely.

Let us know how this all unfolds. Good luck to you.

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