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Double vision

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“Double vision is a terrifying experience, especially if you are young and wake up with it,” says a 36-year-old Asian engineer.  He noticed on a Friday afternoon that he was having difficulty walking.  By that evening, he couldn’t taste things properly on his tongue.  He woke up the next morning and experienced a dull headache and double vision.  The ER was unable to solve the problem, and his MRI was normal. 

On Saturday night, he called Dr. David Kaye.  The engineer described his symptoms to Dr. Kaye and they met in the office that same night.  At about 2 a.m., it was obvious the engineer did not have a brain tumor, and his blood pressure and circulation were normal.  It was discovered he had a rare condition, which required the use of cortisone and immuno suppressive medications, which Dr. Kaye provided. 

The next day, Sunday morning, about 10 a.m., the engineer’s body began to respond to the intravenous treatment.  Four days later, his double vision had resolved, his tastebuds returned to normal, and he felt physically strong, with no more headaches.  He was diagnosed as having multiple sclerosis, which is a disease of the central nervous system. 

With multiple sclerosis, the nerves between the brain and spinal column begin to break down.   The myelin, the sheath covering nerves, becomes inflamed, eventually causing electrical impulses along the nerves to slow down.  The nerves become progressively damaged and a person starts to experience difficulty with nervous system functions, such as vision, writing, walking. 

Written by Laura Nguyen

Dr. Laura Nguyen has extensive training in general ophthalmology and specializes in oculoplastic surgery (lid and orbital reconstruction, and laser skin resurfacing). She has treated thousands of Central Valley residents and their families. She is available for comprehensive eye examinations and special consultations.
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