A woman at her computer is struggling with double vision.

Don't Let That Double Vision Get the Best of You

Last updated: December 2022

I fear my 1970's are showing with that title. Let me explain. I can honestly say, I never really knew what the musical group Foreigner was singing about back then. I did not really care. Their song titled "Double Vision" has a catchy tune, with memorable lyrics, so I sang along. But, now... NOW I get it. After a little research, it seems that two members of the band saw a professional hockey goalie get hit in the head with a puck. The announcement was made that he would not be returning to the ice due to having double vision. The two band members had not heard that term before and it "struck a chord" (pun intended) later turning into a very popular song released in 1978.

Experiencing double vision with thyroid eye disease

For the past couple of years, I have been experiencing this. Double vision can be a symptom of thyroid eye disease (TED). But let's back up. It's apparently also associated with other diseases. I have a loved one who suffers from diabetes. She has double vision from time to time that can last up to three months. As she would try to describe this symptom and its negative effects on her life during an active phase, I remember wondering how difficult that must be. Though I sympathized with her and tried to help her with some daily tasks she was finding difficult to navigate, I really could not fully imagine it.

Now that I have been meandering my way through the many uncomfortable symptoms of thyroid eye disease, and having first-hand experience with double vision, I can empathize. Luckily for the goalie from that hockey team, he recovered from his injury and he and the members of Foreigner have had a few laughs about the whole thing. Although I try to keep a positive attitude and sometimes joke about the symptoms associated with TED, it is really just a coping mechanism. These symptoms often seem to have a mind of their own. The severity of my double vision depends on many things, and quite frankly, I cannot always figure those out.

Managing this symptom the best I can

I am finding that if I go outside, I really need my "costume." Since bright light seems to make things worse, I wear sunglasses that fit over my eyeglasses and a hat with a brim. If I am riding in a car, or boat, or even sitting on a porch swing, I find it necessary to cover one eye. For this, I use an eye patch - my "pirate costume." Although both of my eyes work well, they do not work in tandem. The muscles behind my protruding eye are stretched and therefore unable to "keep up" with the other one. So any movement in my peripheral vision causes me double vision.

But even knowing all of this, some days are considerably worse than others. I often wonder why. Did I eat or drink something yesterday that is affecting me today? Did I sleep enough or restfully enough last night? What can I do differently today to help my eyes for tomorrow? I will faithfully use my eye drops to lubricate. I will wear my shades even indoors if I need to. The eye patch and the hat are on the hook by the door should I venture out today.

We can't let double vision from thyroid eye disease get the best of us!

Dealing with double vision is no joke. I'm truly not a fan. The song is great, but the symptom, not so much. The trick is NOT letting that double vision get the best of me.

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