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I am a female, 24 years old. For the past year, I've been experiencing eye issues. It started with an isolated sudden exploding pain around/behind my left eye that went away just as quickly. Later (another day), I began to notice random double vision which tended to be more noticeable with font or at night on the street signs and such... and only at a distance! My near-vision does not seem have double vision. So I won't notice it when reading a book, sitting at a computer, or the like.
Anyway, the double vision is constant now, mostly noticeable later in the evening. This double vision is noticed with or without pain/ discomfort. The double vision can be described as a ghost that is jumping out of whatever I am looking at. So the second image is usually on top of of the actual item. The distance seems to vary often. If I cover either eye, I still see the ghost-double vision. If I blink at whatever I'm noticing the double vision with, the distance between ghost and image changes and varies. Squinting my eyes seem to join the ghost and item together so my eyebrows get sore sometimes. I do a lot of squinting and avoiding looking at distances to avoid the double vision.
My lower eye lids are puffy, like I haven't gotten any sleep. I've been told by co-workers it looks like I've been crying the night before. I see floaters very often. Their shapes range from little squiggles to tiny transparent "donuts" shapes. Sometimes I get little white flashes or shooting stars in my eyesight. My eyes get to feeling achy often. The ache is usually located above my eyes, deep in the socket. I'd say my eyeballs get to feeling tender up in that area as well. Sometimes I get those little "eye explosions" and always behind/around my left eye. I call them eye explosions because they are a sudden exploding pain that catches me off guard but goes away just as quickly. There is sometimes a pulsing ache above my eye. Only lately did I start to get headaches that usually start with an ache in my left eye. These headaches hang out in my forehead. Sometimes my eyes, or the area around my eyes, just feels heavy like they are filled with sand.
Sometimes, I wake up with aching eyes. Sometimes the white area in my eye closest to the tear duct will get red because of the blood vessels or something. This usually goes away by the end of the day or by a couple days.
I've been to a few eye doctors who say my eyes look fine. I have astigmatism and my prescription is still good. (Although, my left eye vision is noticeably blurrier than my right eye vision.) I've had my double vision measured but the doctor isn't sure why this could be going on. An MRI scan didn't show anything alarming. Only a bit of a cyst on my pituitary gland. A blood test at the time showed my thyroid appeared to be in good order, although thyroid issues do run in my family.
I will be testing out some prism glasses soon for the double vision but before I invest in such expensive gear I was hoping to get a further span of insight on what could be plaguing my eyes and eyesight. I was told by the neurologist I was seeing that these are just migraines. However, I do not have light sensitivity. And the double vision is there with or without pain. The whole experience has been progressive and the headaches I do have are actually quite new compared to the other things. I feel bad for feeling this, but I can't help by feel like it is something more. Like whatever is bothering my eyes are actually the cause for whatever headaches I experience. The doctor that was measuring my double vision said he wasn't sure what the cause was, but suggested maybe a thyroid issue.
My apologies for sounding so winded! This is about an everyday annoyance of mine and like many, I do enjoy my eyesight. So really, any ideas, suggestions or course of actions would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you so much for you time in reading this.
Hi Mezteck,

I am so sorry to hear of your difficulties. I am sure it must be frustrating when there are no clear cut answers to your problems. From what you have described so far, it sounds like there are just so many things happening at the same time, and sounds so overwhelming to tell heads from tails.

First, let's try to figure out this "double vision" you have. When you first described it, the first thing that came to mind was that you have vertical diplopia (double vision with the extra image either up or down from real image), this usually happens when the muscles do not work well together. This is not as common as say horizontal diplopia, and usually trigger by trauma or congenital (born with, and has adjusted throughout life). However, in these cases, the "ghost" image should disappear when one eye is covered, which you said is still there when either eye is covered. Then you said that when you blink, you could change the distances of these ghost images, this is likely a tear film issue. Also, you mentioned that squinting made the ghosts images closer, as squinting just eliminates the amount of light going into your eye, this naturally reduces the amount of "blur" of the image causing it to "clear up". So thus far, it doesn't sound like a problem with the muscles that control your eye movement. You said you had seen a few eye doctors, were they optometrists or ophthalmologists? I would suggest seeing an anterior segment specialist regarding your tear film production and quality and retinal specialist to ensure your retina is normal. OCT scan will be helpful in determining that all your retina layers are flat and in perfect order and thickness.

Floaters are quite common, most people have them. Usually people with high nearsightedness have more of them. Once you "notice" them, you will always see them. But the brain is helpful here in the sense that it will ignore these squiggly things unless you look at a bright background etc. However, one should pay more attention to them if they are accompanied by flashes of lights. Again, this should be followed up with a retinal specialist to ensure the retina is intact. Also, this may be associated with Migraines with or without auras. You don't have to have light sensitivity with migraines. The symptoms can change from episode to episode as well.

Since there is a family history of thyroid problem, I would suggest to keep an eye on it. Thyroid does cause eye problems, especially dry eyes in the beginning stage.

As for you trying out prism glasses, I would suggest wait as I don't see any benefits in getting them since your double vision is monocular. I wouldn't even know how one could prescribe prisms when there are no obvious double images to line up for in binocular testing. Just make sure the prescription is up to date, since a small amount of astigmatism can also cause similar complaints.

I hope this will give you some insights and lead you on the right track. In short, I recommend getting evaluation for your tear film quality and quantity, retinal evaluation with OCT, and an up to date prescription to ensure astigmatism is corrected and fine tuned if exists. Best of luck in resolving your issues so that you can enjoy your every day life to the fullest. Take care.


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