Ophthalmology & Optometry/Eye Problems


QUESTION: I have been experiencing eye problems such as halos glares and double vision. I just turned 18 and I am a female. I received a comprehensive eye exam and they couldn't find anything wrong with my eyes. What other explanation could there be for my eye troubles?

ANSWER: Jackie,
Without a physical exam, it's hard to say what could be causing your symptoms, but we can break it down pretty simply.  This is either something that you are 'seeing' or something that you are 'perceiving.'  Another way, it's either the eye seeing something funny, or the brain 'thinking' it's seeing things funny.  99.99% of the time, this is an 'eye' thing and an eye exam should explain most of it - if the eye exam is unremarkable I would suggest getting another consultation and discuss all of the specifics with another eye doctor.  If that eye exam come to the same conclusion, then I would discuss with that eye doctor where to go next - do you need a neurology consult, etc.
If you're young and healthy, I heavily lean towards it's something that the first eye doctor missed or under-appreciated - go for a different consult and start there.
Good Luck!

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Hi, thank you for your response. Just so I can get a better idea of what I should be looking for, when you say the brain thinking it sees something funny should I be assessing my self for any mental illnesses? What kind of neurological disorders may be causing this? I just want to know so I can see if I have those symptoms as well. Also, my eyes sometimes sway involuntarily.

There are a host of neurological disorders than can cause visual disturbance - including they 'involuntary sway' you're describing.  Sometimes these can be attributed to diet and deficiencies, and sometimes they can be more serious like swollen blood vessels or tumors. Again, these are very rare, but depending on your symptoms they may need to be investigated.
I can't really offer any more suggestions without an exam, but I would suggest starting your new search with another eye exam - see someone else, discuss your concerns in detail, mention the other doctor and their findings (or lack of), and see where it takes you.
Good Luck!

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John M. Dovie, OD, FAAO


As a residency-trained Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry I am able to answer most questions regarding eye and vision health. Anything is welcome, ranging from dry or allergy eyes, bifocal contact lenses, or thoughts on LASIK surgery. As I am not a surgeon, detail-oriented surgical-related questions may be better answered by an ophthalmologist.


Selected to participate in the PCO residency program in Philadelphia at The Eye Institute, where I worked OD and MD specialists gaining invaluable experience in various clinics including glaucoma, cornea and cataract, oculo-plastics, retinal disease, neuro-ophthalmic disease, primary care, emergency medicine, and special populations. Have practiced and trained in numerous settings including hospital, academic, retail and private practice. I earned my Fellowship in the American Academy of Optometry (FAAO). There are currently only about 3000 active fellows worldwide, and there are only about 70 Fellows in the state of Virginia. I currently own and operate my own optometric practice/clinic.

American Academy of Optometry, American Optometric Association (Contact Lens/Cornea Section member since 2001), Southwest Virginia Optometric Association, Virginia Tech Alumni Association

“Nyctalopia as the Presenting Sign of Vitamin A Deficiency: A Late Complication of Gastric Bypass Surgery.” Clinical Case Study Poster presented at The American Academy of Optometry Denver, Colorado, December 2006, co-authored with Bradley Lane, OD.
“The Importance of Considering Paranasal Sinus Mucocele as a Differential Diagnosis in Diplopia.” Clinical Case Study Poster presented at The American Academy of Optometry San Diego, California, December 2005, co-authored with Kelly Malloy, OD, FAAO and Cherie Farkash, OD.
“Acute Onset of Halos and Glare: Bilateral Keratitis—An Atypical Presentation of Amiodarone Keratopathy.” Clinical Case Study Poster presented at The American Academy of Optometry Tampa, Florida December 2004. Also Presented to New Jersey Academy of Optometry, Neptune, New Jersey March 2005.
“The Opportunity for an Optometrist to Save a Life.” Clinical Case Study and Grand Rounds Presentation presented at The Pennsylvania College of Optometry, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, September 2004.
“Corneal whorls cause wonder.” Clinical Challenges Quiz, co-authored with Andrew Gurwood, OD, FAAO, Review of Optometry. Published 10/15/2006.
“Acute onset of halos and glare: bilateral corneal epithelial edema with cystic eruptions--atypical presentation of amiodarone keratopathy.” Co-authored with Andrew Gurwood, OD, FAAO. Published February, 2006, Optometry.
“Pondering the posterior polka-dots.” Clinical Challenges Quiz, co-authored with Andrew Gurwood, OD, FAAO, Review of Optometry. Published 5/15/2005.
Professional Involvement:
“AION: Amiodarone-Induced or Anterior Ischemic Optic Neuropathy?” Participated as a peer-review referee for Expert Review of Ophthalmology (London, UK); refereed 10/2006.

Bachelor of Science, Cum Laude, Virginia Tech. Bachelor of Science, Pennsylvania College of Optometry. Doctorate (OD), Pennsylvania College of Optometry Residency, Pennsylvania College of Optometry Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry

Awards and Honors
Winner, First Place, "Best Beside Manner" by Our Health Magazine: 2012, 2013, 2014 Winner, First Place, "Best Eye Doctor" by The Roanoke Times: 2013, 2014 Recognized as a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry, December, 2006 Recipient of the Onofrey G. Rybachok Memorial Scholarship, 2000-2001 Member: The Golden Key International Honor Society Member: The National Biological Honor Society Member: The National Honor Society Eagle Scout awarded 1994

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