Sudden feeling of vision distortion like cross eyes with vertigo and nausea

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Yesterday I had a sudden vision disturbance I have never had before.  I was on my computer when suddenly everything was out of focus and my vision split from the upper right corner to the lower left corner.  It seemed like everything was shifted somehow.  There was a strong feeling of being off balance and I was also nautious.  It lasted just a couple of minutes.  My husband took me to our local health walk in clinic.  They performed numerous tests on me (that all turned out normal) but advised me of the symptoms of a stroke and to watch for further stroke symptoms for the next few days.  The only thing she could find wrong with me was that I had a sinus infection and she put me on an antibiotic pill.  The strange vision distortion has not returned so far, but I would be lying to say I felt my vision was "normal".  I have not been sleeping well for the past few nights, so I feel some sleep deprivation.  I will try to get some extra sleep for the next few days and see how I feel then.

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7 Replies

  • Posted

    Sinus infection can definitely cause that if the infection moves fro sinuses to inner ear. Hopefully antibiotics will do the trick
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  • Posted

    Sounds like an ocular migraine. I have them with similar symptoms when I am stressed or under the weather. Have to lie down in a darkened room until the visual disturbance goes. Sometimes I get the headache afterwards, sometimes not.
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  • Posted

    A friend used to suffer from this, and was told it was a type of migraine. You don't always get a severe headache with migraines.

    I'd advise you to complete the course of antibiotics, as this could well be down to sinusitis. However, speaking as a former neuro nurse, I'd also say that if this ever happens again don't bother with a GP or walk-in clinic. Either call an ambulance or get your husband to drive you to A&E at the nearest university hospital. I'm sure it's nothing serious, but better safe than sorry.

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  • Posted

    If these symptoms are due to a stroke, one should not wait around for the next episode.  The possibility of such an event should be followed up, usually with an MRI.  However, you need to seen ENT, preferably one with an interest in neurotology, to determine if these symptoms are peripheral (e.g inner ear nerve), or central (brain).  This can usually be done from the clinical examination.

    Eleftherios S. Papathanasiou, PhD, FEAN

    Clinical Neurophysiologist

    Fellow of the European Academy of Neurology

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    • Posted

      I saw my pulmonologist doctor yesterday and he says I have some water in my ear that probably caused the sinus infection I am fighting.  He also said the visual disturbance could be from a migraine (even without the headache) - I have had migraines about 10 years ago when I was going through menopause - or could be from the sinus infection I am fighting off.  He advised me to finish the course of the antibiotic I am on (Doxycycline Hyclate 100 mg) (even though it does not seem to be doing anything) and he prescribed another antibiotic to try following the end of this one (done tomorrow).  We will see if the new antibiotics help to get rid of this sinus infection (I have had many of them, especially after I fly).  I have not had a recurrence of the visual distortion.
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    • Posted

      I started the new antibiotic today that my pulmonoolgist prescribed (Clarithromycin 500 mg).  A couple hours after I took my 1st tablet, I had the strangest "headache."  I am not sure it really was a headache.  It only lasted about 5 seconds and it felt like needles being stabbed into the top back corner of my skull.  I was also very nautious.  It has happened again several times today but each incident is very short - only a second or two.  It is extremely painful.  I also was very dizzy when I was standing one time when the pain struck.  Thankfully no further visual distortions.  I have not been sleeping well for a least a week (I think the prior antibiotic was interrupting my sleep).  Now that I am on the new antibiotic, I hope I will get more sleep and feel better.

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    • Posted

      Marlena, your symptoms don't sound like any antibiotic reaction that I know of, possibly apart from the nausea. It is true, however, that sinusitis can cause weird sensations in your head. In the years when I had chronic sinus infections, I used to get a sensation as if my entire brain was shifting inside my head every time I bent forward.

      I'm glad to hear you're under the care of a pulmonologist, but don't let this go on for too long. If you don't get any relief from the new antibiotic, or if your symptoms get any worse, I'd advise asking to see a neurologist.

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