I’m still figuring out symptoms and trying to problem solve nearly 21 years later. So what is the cause of dizziness anyway? I’m sharing this level of frustration so others can see how difficult it is with any individual dealing with traumatic brain injury.
TBI has a host of symptoms that are difficult to live with, let alone figure out what is causing what. It’s up to the individual to figure it out. It’s such a complex injury that even the healthcare professionals can only guess. You are responsible. It doesn’t matter if you have an old TBI or new. You are expected to be precise in describing your symptoms. That’s hard for anyone to describe clear and concisely without a TBI. It is expected of every individual, no exceptions. This experience is similar with all those dealing with chronic illnesses and injuries of any sort.
I have been trying to figure out why my dizziness has returned to an unbearable level. It seems like for the past year I’ve been taking on and off my glasses and nothing had improved. It seemed like when I had my glasses on for a short time the clarity of my vision would improve. I’m not certain at what time things got worse. This is what I do know and I’m hoping if there are others in this situation it will help.
A few years back I started wearing contact lens in one eye, also known as mono-vision. My left eye would see close up and my right eye could see distant. As I write this I am just putting all this together to problem solve my own dizziness issues. Since, I can’t think this through it’s taken me some time to put all the pieces of the puzzle together. Hence, I would never think or expect even the best physicians to put this together.
This is a lesson for others to understand how difficult and unique brain injuries are, and the only person able to solve most of the problems will be the person with the brain injury. So if you are close to a loved one with a brain injury it is possible you can help problem solve over time. Unfortunately, the one that needs to problem solve is the one with the brain injury. Because of this, the education and true sense of understanding among healthcare professionals may always be limited.
I mentioned this level of dizziness to all my healthcare providers, and even suggested maybe an inner-ear infection. I was told that would be the most common problem but in my case it’s probably related to autonomic dysfunction. Now, I do know this is a partial blame for the dizziness and I have lived with that since the injury.
So, how do you explain a worsening of vision and dizziness symptoms when you know the autonomic nervous system has been relatively stable. When one has a number of triggers of dizziness it is very difficult to pin-point the problem. So, I’m contemplating what the problem is and I need to find a solution soon. Is it my vision, vertical heterophoria? Is it my blood pressure? Is it my autonomic instability? Is it insufficiency? On and on. It’s simply a merry go-round! One I’d rather get off, then stay on!
My Florinef was increased to a level that they’d rather have high blood pressure then low blood pressure. I understand the brain needs the blood flow so I certainly did not think that was the cause in this dizziness.
I was about ready to seek further attention to this matter when I finally resolved the problem. I knew something needed to change. I’ve had several falls within the past year leading to significant injuries and don’t want to risk my physical health anymore. I’ve limited driving. I wake up and within an hour I’m exhausted. None of this makes any sense…then the light bulb finally went off.
I finally realized years ago, I began wearing a contact in one eye and that eliminated most of my dizziness. So last year I was diagnosed with Vertical Heterorphoria. I was prescribed prism lens which seemed to work…temporarily that is! I’ve come to my own conclusion as of yesterday. My husband says I’ve talked about the contacts in the past, but then I never think of it again. I finally put a contact in my left eye and wow…the dizziness is gone! At least most of it! Thank goodness!
It’s my opinion that my brain was easily trained to wear the mono-vision contacts because I had vertical heterophoria, which is a misalignment of the vision field after head injury. Both eyes do not see on the exact planes, hence causing double vision, blurred vision, and dizziness. This is an exhaustive cognitive problem. You struggle for clarity and tire mentally easy.
Usually when one attempts to retrain the brain to see mono-vision there is a period of dizziness. My sister attempted to do it at one point, but she said it caused profound dizziness and could not do it. She never complains, so you can only imagine how difficult it must be. On the other hand, I was so use to dizziness it didn’t seem like a problem to me and my brain trained easily. It’s most likely that my eyes were not seeing on the same level to prior to wearing the contact.
In conclusion, I believe that when my vertical heterophoria was being treated with prisms lens my brain could not retrain back to seeing out of both eyes…hence causing the severe dizziness. I blamed it on the scratches in the lens within the visual fields I now have from falling flat on my face with both pair of glasses. I blamed it on a number of things. I’m hoping this observation of my problem can help others solve theirs.
I’m not sure that I have the solution, but in the meantime I think I might be on to something that could be helpful for research in the future. All I can do is add what is happening and what I finally figure out to help others. I’m simply mentioning this post because it’s the way people with traumatic brain injury need to problem solve, and unfortunately most don’t have that ability. I do…it can be days, months or years to figure things out. I’m just happy I’ve found a solution…at least part of a solution that’s working for me!
Now, it has taken me over a year to come to this conclusion and problem solve…but better late then never. Ideally, the prism lens should work. It could be possible that the falls within the past year could have also changed the misalignment in visual fields. What I do know is this: My one contact for close-up and no lens for the right eye is the best combination for my vision at this time. At least for today! My eye appointment isn’t for another 6 weeks, and everyone knows what that is like. A lot can change in the meantime.
I’m so relieved at the moment, I just hope this isn’t a false sense of euphoria! I’m sharing this experience anyway.
So, are you still having difficulty with your vision…double, blurred, clarity, dizziness, nausea? These are all signs that something was damaged within the brain that affects your vision. In the case with others with chronic illnesses and injuries they are all symptoms of other problems as well. It is possible that it is treatable. On the other hand, they may all be very different problems or combination of problems. In my case, they are all combinations of problems within the brain making it even more difficult to treat and diagnose.
I’m putting this most recent observation out now so others can help try to problem solve for themselves. Ultimately, it is up to the patient to figure things out. Brain injury and so many other health issues are so complex. I wish I tried to figure out these things for myself instead of expecting others to understand and assume they knew what they were doing. Even with the best intentions, only you know what is going on and what will work.
The hardest part with head injury, it can take years to figure things out…simply because all the connections in the brain don’t work. You can say this and that…but it can take a very long time to problem solve. My husband said he believes I’ve mentioned at least 100 times within the past year about the contacts but I kept loosing that thought and never thinking about it again, until I would mention it again. I never got past that point until yesterday when I thought to try a contact.
In spite of TBI, eventually I figure things out. Now if your life depended on quick thinking, it might or might not work. Eventually, I would get it…but it might be too late! This is a good reason healthcare professionals should not be dealing with direct patient care following TBI. It could be your life!
- Understanding the Trauma in Traumatic Brain Injury (brokenbrilliant.wordpress.com)
- Head Injuries Can Lead to Serious Vision Problems (everydayhealth.com)
- Soldiers’ brain trauma cases disputed (ajc.com)
- Traumatic Brain Injury – TBI (pattidudek.typepad.com)