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Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 11267
Experience:  Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
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I am 62 years old and have recently started experiencing double

Customer Question

I am 62 years old and have recently started experiencing double vision. It is triggered when I am extremely tired/sleep deprived or having just 2 to 4 alcoholic drinks. In the past i never experienced double vision from alcohol until I was really quite inebriated, which now happens very, very rarely. Yet now, with just a few drinks and not drunk at all, I start seeing double. Thank you for your help.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Eye
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 5 years ago.

Dr. Rick :

Hi. I'm online and happy to answer your question today.

Dr. Rick :

It sounds like you are experiencing a breakdown of a long standing phoria into a manifest tropia.

Dr. Rick :

What does that mean in English? It means that you have had a tenancy toward having bouts of double vision and now, for some reason, you are having more episodes of frank double vision. Many times this is not due to any serious underlying pathology however, it wouldn't hurt to have a complete eye exam by an ophthalmologist. Sometimes all that is necessary is a slight change in your glasses Rx to solve this problems. Other times it can be due to changes in your eyes, weakness in one of the muscles or nerves that serve to move your eyeball or even pathology in your orbit.

Dr. Rick :

Does this make sense to you?

Dr. Rick :

Hi. My screen shows that you are in the chat room. Can you see what I have entered?

Customer:

Yes. Sorry. The only bouts I've had with double vision in the past was in the very rare case that I had way too much to drink. So I think it was normal "bouts" and nothing unusual, so I really wouldn't call it a tendency until the last several months. I am a cancer survivor--Myeloma, and I am at increased risk for secondary cancers I am told. Brain cancer is not of the ones they list. But my main concern is that their is not something serious going on--like a brain tumor. I will be seeing an opthomologist next month for my regular chech up for Graft Versus Host Disease dry eye symptoms. The dry eye is still there but very manageable at this point..

Dr. Rick :

I really do not think that your increased episodes of occasional double vision are a sign of a brain tumor or anything serious going on. That being said, I agree with your plan to be seen by an eye MD.

Dr. Rick :

I think, in the long run, you will find that nothing serious is going on related to these episodes. Does that make sense?

Dr. Rick :

I guess that you have stepped away from your computer. I'll switch over to the Q&A system. This system works a lot like 'text messaging' but an email is sent to each of us anytime something is posted to this thread. We can continue to work on your question there..... :)


 

Dr. Rick :

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Dr. Rick :

Oops....I see you are back :)

Customer:

Yes. Thank you.

Dr. Rick :

My pleasure. Have a good day.

Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 5 years ago.
Let me know if there is anything else you would like to discuss pertaining to this issue.
Dr. Rick and other Eye Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Dr. Rick,
This not a new question. I failed to mention in the first question, that I do drink alcohol on a pretty much daily basis. Does this affect you answer in any way. I am well aware of the overall risks of alcohol. I'm only interested in your analysis as it relates to the double vision problem.
Thank you very much.
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 5 years ago.
Chronic alcohol use -- to the point where your blood alcohol content would be considered "drunk" if you were driving -- could definitely contribute to your symptoms.

If, on the other hand, you are having a mixed drink or two (or equivalent) a day then I wouldn't think that it is a big issue in your case.