Forum

Diplopia & Driving....

Although I currently have no confirmed diagnosis in any respect, all of the professionals that I have seen to date confirm verbally that I have a problem with my eyesight.

For no apparent reason, I awoke one morning in June and noticed that my eyesight keeps ‘tuning out’. Firstly, I get blurred vision which progresses to double vision until I am able to re-focus. No one seems able to explain the sudden onset of this problem or seems to know whether this is a temporary or permanent issue.

I have seen my opthamologist twice, who explains that my eyes are not working together correctly due either to a nerve or muscular defect. She called the problem ‘convergence insufficiency’ from what I recall. Standard glasses to correct short-sightedness (to be worn permanently) have been prescribed. In addition, exercises are advised for the ‘convergence insufficiency’ with review due at Christmas. Despite all - the problem remains and the exercises make my eyes hurt.

My GP refers to the condition as ‘Diplopia’ and is in liaison with a neurologist on this.

I am currently in a bit of a pickle as to what I should / should not be doing in relation to driving.

I have been signed off of work for the past five weeks due to various issues. My job as an ‘on-call’ I.T. Field Service Engineer involves driving up to 300 miles per day, hence you will no-doubt understand the concerns I have ref. the impact this vision problem may have.

Does anyone have any experience in this area? Am I right in assuming that I am fit to drive provided I feel able to do so and until told not to do so by my GP / Opthamologist / Neurologist?

Forgive me if this seems a silly question. I have no previous experience of this condition or the limitations / implications that it can bring with it…

Many thanks :wink:

My gut feeling is that you shouldn’t be driving. When your eyes don’t work together properly, depth perception gets screwed up and you’ve lived your life with normal depth perception so you are likely to be bad at judging distances right now. If you have double vision on top of that, who knows. If in doubt, ask the DVLA I suppose. They will probably send you for a special eye test for driving. If that’s OK, then at least you know you are safe to drive. If it’s not, but you had driven and had hurt someone… absolutely NOT worth it!

Hopefully it’s a relapse and will correct itself in due course, but I would have thought it would be a good idea to keep up the exercises. Maybe you could do them in shorter bursts or something, to reduce the pain? The ophthalmologist should be able to advise. They should be able to tell you if you can still drive too - and whether or not you should tell the DVLA.

Good luck!

Karen x

I know for definite that you can’t drive with an eye patch - that’s from the DVLA.
I have declared my MS to the DVLA with the details of my symptoms. Including sight problems, which like you come and go.
I’ve had double-vision in the past, which is when I asked about using an eye patch when driving.
I have declared that if I have problems with my eyes I don’t drive. I also don’t drive even longish distances so that any potential eye problems related to fatigue aren’t going to crop up unexpectedly. I rest before I take the short drive home from our local shopping centre. A good excuse for a nice posh coffee!

My advice would be to ask your neurologist for advice. I’ve asked my GP things in the past and she’s phoned my neuro and had a brief phone conversation with my neuro to decide what to do next. It speeds things up amazingly if I don’t actually need to see my specialist!

I hope your Diplopia gets better soon - it’s not fun at all, is it?

take care,

Ellen

ye try an eye patch. alternate every day so eyes don’t get lazy. i had double vision for a period of 3 months and drove ok with the aid of the eye patch.

I have Optic Nutritis in my left eye which is permanent, my right eye however is fine and although i have no detail recognition in my left eye and colour-blind, my depth perception is fine and my eyesight is stilll regarded as rather good. DVLA have issued me a renewable 3 year temp licence which can be revoked at any point on advice from my Neurologist.

hate to say it but I had to tell the DVLA until my vision was corrected by use of prisms. My eyes didnt work together either which made the world a very odd place to try walk let alone drive. I got my license back which had to be withdrawn until the Eye Dept at the local hospital made sure via tests I was ok to drive again.

Ask for corrective measures asap if your work means driving.

bren
x

I had an identical diagnosis and the same trearment. The exercises were painful and the prisms were useless as I only had reading glasses. I was never offered clear ones. In fact the opthamologist fetched in colleagues to check as she said most are diagnosed with convergence unsufficiency as children. But it was MS that had caused it of course.

I have a limited 3 year license as DVLA should know if you have MS. My depth perception and field of vision were not affected too badly. My eyes are still the same on bad days or when I’m tired or poorly so I just don’t drive. You know yourself if you are safe to drive. Like you I was doing 300 + miles per week. I now have a taxi paid for by Access to Work. They will pay for taxis to work but they will also pay for journeys during work if you have to travel for work. It was a revelation since like you I was scared I might lose my job. But if you can claim mileage from work you have to deduct that from your claim. The taxi have fantastic since I’m not exhausted when I get to where I’m going anymore.

Good luck

Be well
Pat

Hi everyone - thank you so much for your kind replies and advice. It is wonderful to hear from so many with first-hand experience.

I think that my GP, Neurologist and Optometrist are hoping that my ‘Diplopia’ is going to correct itself in time, but I somehow doubt this given I have been ‘suffering’ for some months since sudden onset in June. There seems to be no concern or sense of urgency despite my line of work involving up to 300 miles driving per day…

They plan to review my case in December - prisms are the next step I am told. I find the problem is most prevalent when trying to do close work (reading, writing, using computer, texting etc. etc.). I often find myself closing one eye.

The exercises I have been given involve focusing on an object at arm’s length (with standard glasses on) and moving the item closer to my eyes until I get double vision, trying hard to prevent double vision.

My Diplopia remains unchanged irrespective of exercises or my physical / emotional state. I will have to ask my GP about driving tomorrow (yet another check-up).

Thanks guys :smiley:

oops sorry jyst realused you driving is 300 per day not per week. Still worth ringing them as they can help pay for a driver for you too.

No worries Wobby - I think we’re all allowed the odd gaff given our Gremlins. Goodness knows I’ve made a few :lol:

Nice idea about a chauffeur. Not really practical in my line of work though. I am an ‘on-call’ service engineer and never know how many jobs I am going to get, where I am going or when I am going to get home. Not good for stress! :cry:

Signed of of work at the moment and coming to grips with the impact of my problems on my future…