Double vision after tbi: Hey! I'm 22years old and... - Headway


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Double vision after tbi



I'm 22years old and I was involved in a car accident 2 months ago and suffered many injuries. The injury I am most concerned about is the Subarachnoid hemorrhage. I have been discharged from hospital (after being kept in for 10 days) but have had double vision since the accident. If I shut either eye I can see normal (single). It's only when I open both eyes I see double. The opthamologist has checked my eyes and said they both look healthy. I was told to wait 6 months until my eyes should be reviewed. I'm am so scared this double vision will be permanent. Please can anyone advise me if so.

Thank you so much xx

22 Replies

Hi Lucy,

I had a subarachnoid haemorrhage 2 and 1/2 years ago. Towards the end of a 3 week stay in hospital, when I was almost back in the zone, I mentioned to a nurse that my vision was double and blurred. Nobody had asked about my vision prior to this. After she spoke to my neurosurgeon, I had retinal scans etc and was diagnosed with Tersens syndrome which means that at the time of my brain haemorrhage I also haemorrhaged behind both retinas. Not sure if this would be picked up with usual eye tests so may be worth pursuing? Good luck!

Hey Emmer,

Thank you so much for your reply!

I will question the doctors about this.

Do you still suffer from double vision?

Is there anything you can recommend to help cope with it?

Thank you so much!



Hi there, i have the same problem, after a heamorage, was finally diagnosed by a 3rd optitian with dipplopia after 2 years of suffering, in both eyes, one pupil is also huge while the other is tiny, basicly the eyes dont work together or see the same image or at the same distance or speed, the brain then cant make sense of moving objects or people, or where things actually are and freaks out, in my case i have seizures. I was advised to cover the worst eye with an eye patch, and make the best of things with the one i have, there may well be other treatment, but i am completly housebound and with my vertigo and balence problems also, i cant deal with the outside world , the eye patch will really help though, and i had glasses with totally different lenses for both eyes, before that, but i lost the lense from them, i cant see to find anything. I have a pair that lets me read and see the computer up close, though i make lots of mistakes. I really hope you have some support and can get out to see an optitian or a consultant . This is actually quite common after a brain injury, but nobody tells you or the family, they just discharge you and you are thrust into a world where sound, movement, lights etc become a terrifying nightmare world and nobody understands. I really hope you will have a better outcome than me. but try not to panic, get an eye patch and try to do what you can with the best eye so you can get the help you need, it isnt easy, it isnt fair and it will take time to get used to, hopefully for you here will be some treatment and care, all the best, Karen, ps before i found this site, i thought i was alone , i was told by my GP it was all in my head, my seizures were panic attacks, that i was mental etc, i had no idea that all these things were actually the result of the brain haemorage, I have a new GP now thank god who staight away knew my problems were neurological and i got diazipan etc but since i had been left so long without correct treatment, nothing she could really do beyond suggesting neuro appointments that i could not attend in any case. all the best to you

lucy this might seem a strange thing to say, but why not buy yourself a patch and swap eyes daily.

im not taking the mickey this is a serious suggestion.


ladyhawke234 in reply to steve55

only a good idea if both eyes see and react the same, mine dont, if i uncover the other one even for a second or 2, all i see from it is a distorted mirage type moving blurred image , i cant make sense of, using the stronger better eye, will at least get you vision enough for some sort of life, for some of us, thats all we get and its better than nothing. My GP failed to diagnose it, and 2 other opticians as well, the 3rd firm, who were two women, . who came to my home, understood it straight away and informed me it was a common thing after brain heamorage. I get no help, no benefits etc , i just have to deal and get on with it. I was also left for 9 days without treatment after the heamorage, my GP would not come out, and i colapsed after cyclingy to him after 9 days, it took that long to get appointment, he thought i had a trapped nerve in my neck, i got home then collapsed fitted and wet myself while querieing his prescription for an antisycotic drug, i had a terrible ordeal with ambulance staff as icould not contol my body movements, they even threatened me with th e police, thankfully my bleed was discovered at hospital and i was transfered and finaly coiled but much damage was done and nothing was explained to me or fami,y, brain cells die, they dont repair or get better, you can find other ways to cope over long periods of time ,nerves may find other ways to connect, but it is hard and takes a long time and thats if you ae lucky, you should also be aware that any infection you ,may get can go to your brain, you have to get antibiotic s ASAP or end up with seizures as well, sadly, most GPs dont sem to undrstand or have time to understand brain injury symptoms, I really hope you have some support and a better time than me, kAREN X

steve55 in reply to ladyhawke234

lady was just a suggestion because of what was said. as far as brain injuries are concerned only we understand, because we are the ones who have gone through it, some worse than others, but we can still empathise

welcome back


lucyjenarog in reply to steve55

Hey Steve,

I have a patch on as we speak haha!

It's great for when reading a book or watching TV!

Thank you for your reply!


Lucy, I had a Subarachnoid haemorrhage 5 years ago and realised I had slight double vision when transferred to Rehab. I was wheeled off to the Opthamology dept. for tests, the results of which showed there were no tangible issues, and I was told by my consultant that the problem would almost certainly correct itself as my brain continued to heal. This would have been around the 6 week point.

It did correct itself. I'm not too clear when exactly. But my SAH was in early December and the problem had resolved by March ; I only remember this because I had an enjoyable birthday meal with my family, with no sight issues, in mid March.

Hang in there m'dear. It's a disturbing problem, but apparently quite common after any brain injury, and rarely persists once the initial trauma repairs itself.

Best wishes, Cat x

lucyjenarog in reply to cat3

Het Cat,

I am so grateful for your message! I feel so reassured. You have really made my day :) There is hope out there wohooo!

I'm so pleased that your eyesight corrected itself. It must have been a great birthday seeing single.

Did you find that your double vision was worse when looking in different angles?



cat3 in reply to lucyjenarog

I'm sorry Lucy, but it was 5+ years ago, and at that time I was still traumatised from the 'event' and my family's obvious shock, then their relief that I'd survived, that I can't remember much more about it.

In fact my son, daughter and partner spent many weeks after I came home filling me in on all the details of the first 4-5 weeks as I had no recollection of anything 'til reaching the rehab ward. Sorry m'dear.

But I have the strongest feeling that you're going to be ok ; only a matter of time. ;-) xx

lucyjenarog in reply to cat3

No worries at all :) I completely understand! Thank you once again for the reassurance! It means a lot.

Take care lovely :)



I have a problem with double vision since my accident. I have damaged my 6th cranial nerve which means my eye is always pointing inward.

I was told to wait 18 months!

Only 5 to go!

It is very frustrating.

The vision isn't as clear in my bad eye. It's almost like the colours have been turned down.

i don't really have any advice. I have no idea when/if it gets better..

I hope it does

Good luck

Hey Pete!

Thank you for your message. I completely understand your frustration!

Waiting months for recovery is a frustrating period. However the best things come to those that who wait ;) you are doing so well!

Good luck to you too!


Hello, Lucy.

I received my Traumatic Brain Injury in 2005. I spent 6-8 months in hospital (they eased me out, slowly), but at about 6 months, I was still wearing a patch over one of my eyes, because without it I was seeing double. It did get much better, but it took time, I think it was about 8 months before I stopped with the patch, but it is still far from perfect. Now, if I roll my eyes to look downwards, I can still see double, but thankfully it is fine, if I look simply forwards.

When I look downwards, now, one of the images is 'right', and the other is quite a bit lower, and wonky; but it is also not as clear, so I always know that I should ignore it.

I am doing some exercises, now, trying to look downwards, but ignoring the silly wonky image. I think it is getting a bit better, but very very slowly.

Hey lovely,

I am so pleased for you!

I think with a bit of practice you will be able to get rid of the downwards double vision. Keep up the good work!

Did you constantly patch the same eye or did you alternate it?

Thank you so much!


Thanks. I alternated the patch.

That's great! Thank you so much :)

Have a great day xx

My husband had a TBI 17 months ago now. He had double vision which did slowly resolve by around 8 months after the head injury. It was very frustrating mainly because as others have said we were left in the dark by the medical profession. It was only a chance remark by his GP when he went for a renewal of his fit note when she said " Oh I see you also have a palsy in your 3rd optical nerve." that we were able to begin to get any real information by googling the condition!

Try not to worry I had the same problem for many months but in the end it stopped my subarachnoid was treated with large doses of steroids to reduce the swelling on the brain it took a long time but in the end I was back to normal try to take one day at a time and avoid definite causes of the double vision my biggest problem with it was watching tv. Apparently it also matters if the double vision is side bag side or one k. Top of the other speak to your GP and if necessary ask for an MRI to make sure the blood has dispersed good luck you will be ok you are young and will probably heal a lot quicker than I did as I was twice your age at the time I had it.


Just seeing if your vision has corrected itself?

I had a bleed in June just gone which has created double/distorted vision. Same as you really. Plus the good vision when one eye is covered, eyes don't work together etc. Hospital opticians say my eyes are fine so it's all brain related and a waiting game for me... x

My husband had a brain injury in January and had double vision, but it has recently cleared up, so hopefully yours will too.

Hi lucyjenarog

Firstly, I am so sorry to hear of your accident and the injuries you have sustained :( Sending you a big virtual hug!

I can totally relate to the double vision! After my TBI in August and subsequent brain bleed, I suffered a palsy of my 3rd ocular nerve which meant I couldn't open my eyelid at all, pupil was enlarged and my eye pointed out and downwards. I'm just over 3 months into my recovery and my eyelid has started to open about two thirds but I'm now faced with double vision. I'm the same as you, in that both eyes separately see one image, but when open together I see two.

Unfortunately, I do believe it is a 'waiting game' as the body needs to heal after such a trauma and from what i have learnt in my own journey, is that a couple of months is so early in terms of brain injury recovery. I have to wear an eye patch on my 'bad' eye but since it has started to open, I have started to patch the good eye and make the bad eye work a bit (though the sensation I feel is as if I am drunk without any of the good parts haha!) I am also doing some eye exercises to strengthen the 'bad' eye that my physio gave me. Not sure how much they work, but it makes me feel like I am a bit more in control of my recovery.

There is a silver lining in that there have been a couple of occasions recently where I was able to bring my eyes in line with each other and see one image (though not perfectly) and this was an amazing achievement! So emotional that i burst into tears! Everyone is so different in their recovery, but I hope I am able to bring you some reassurance that things will improve for you.

Sorry for the rambling, I get carried away...

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