Friday, March 16, 2007

Third cranial nerve repair!

Well, we finally got to meet a neuro-ophthalmologist( there are only 4-5 of the species in the whole of Seattle area ). It took 2 months to see one. And he finally gave us somewhat good description of my eye problem. My third cranial nerve was damaged during the surgery, which is what causes the droopy lid. In most cases the nerve repairs almost completely and the lid function returns. But any nerve repair takes about 6-9 months. In the meantime, this third nerve damage has caused a condition called Exophoria. In simple terms, my right eye does not converge very well when i try to read or do anything which requires convergence of both eyes. This of course causes stress and dizziness.

So on most days i can only spend about 15 minutes at a time reading or online or doing anything which requires concentration . Of cource, i am trying to do all these things without concentrating so much, but u cant do that to read. i can type and probably do some daily activities with minimal eye use, but most are still restricted. The eye convergence can be corrected using prisms on my glasses, but the docs dont want to do that right now, since it might interfere with the nerve repair.

So here i am waiting and waiting for my nerve to heal itself so that i can start doing some things which usually would occupy 75 % of my day.

As i had mentioned in an earlier post that we engineers have a difficult time dealing with such situations without much control and explanations. Most of the the recovery problems do not usually have any explanation. This is true of a lot of medical problems. Along with all of this you have to also deal with the sudden missing independence. I can barely do my daily activities like cooking, reading, driving or anything. It sure is difficult to be suddenly so dependent. Well hopefully all this is temporary.!. Eyes are a very important part of your life for sure!!

Here's wishing my nerves a fast recovery! I am trying to find workarounds for certain activities for sure. Like i am using Key2Speak s/w to write up this blog. Because typing for me is not so concentration intensive, but reading what i typed up is. So this software just reads out whatever iam typing aloud. I can also read mails or webpages with it. So atleast i am not using my eyes so intensively!
I am getting familiar with my kitchen slowly, so that i dont really need my eyes for every small thing. Ahh i miss driving though.


  1. Get well soon. We miss you.

    The loss of control issue is exactly right; arming yourself with the right medical opinions (and keeping open to others) is the right defense. I so hope everyone applies this wisdom.

    Knowledge, even if perceived, is power. Power over something which otherwise would have control of you. So I'm so glad you've armed yourself in a way I think is healthy and helpful.

    We're (barely) making it by without you at work. You won't recognize the landscape. I won't go into the gruesome details. :0

    Take your time in making sure you come back at your pace. You're doing great so far, so make sure you do what's best for you. I really hope to see you happy and making fun of the rest of us soon.


  2. Thanks for your wishes Joe. You are an inspiration and i always get motivated by your comments!!.

    I just started driving!! yey.. so now i can actually come to office and just sit and eat peoples heads!!. reading/working on a computer are the most tiring activities for my eyes.. so i am picking up on the other less intensive activities.

    people in the downtown area should probably stick to their lanes when they see a black acura TL!

  3. hey richa .... all this is just fine ... every thing will come back to normal ... i myself have been in simlar situation :). c u in office soon


  4. Hey Richa, Just came across your blog today so got an update. Last time I spoke to you, I thought you must be at work already! You take care...sometimes things just take more time than you expect. My regards to your mom. I heard she is there with you from Vardaan. Get well real soon !

  5. Hi - I hope you are doing well.

    A similar thing has just happened myself and was wondering if your nerve had repaired itself and what was the timescale.

    I had an aneurism recently and my left eye won't open now - the Dr's have said the nerve is damaged.

    It is only in the last 10 days and I am of course still worried / Scared.

    I know you have not been on lately I think but if you get a chance to reply I'd be happy.

  6. Hi Richa,
    Haven't seen update on your blog for a long time. Hope you are doing well by now and wish you happy new year.

  7. Hi Richa. I am having a similar problem after having neurosurgery and just today the doc told me that my third cranial nerve was probably shocked by the surgery and so I have double vision when looking in certain directions but thankfully when looking straight ahead, things are usually ok. So I hope you're still reading this and if so, did your third cranial nerve heel? It's been five months for me and I'm really looking forward to that day. Feel free to email me at I look forward to your reply!

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  10. Interesting story you got here. It would be great to read a bit more about this theme. Thank you for sharing that material.

  11. Thanks for the post. I was recently in a motorcycle accident and the brain swelling/bleeding damaged my 3rd cranial nerve so I'm researching the odds I have for regaining the use of my eye. Reading is not an issue at this point as one eye works normally and the lid won't open on the other. Depth perception and determining a center is difficult

  12. @anonymous, sorry for the late reply. I just saw the comment in my spam filter.

    regaining the complete use of the eye is dependent on the extent of damage. Find a good neuro-ophthalmologist really. because the ophthalmologists misght not be able to give you the right kind of help/ treatment exercises etc. hopefully your eye lid will open in time. Ask the docs for exercises to help with the healing and eye cor-ordination, because no one tells u about exercising the eyes.

  13. @anonymous. All the beet and take care!

  14. Hello my name is Jenna, I have had Third Nerve Palsy in my right eye since I was 9 months old, and I am now 22. Along with that I also have what is called Horner's Syndrome in the same eye. With both of these I have many different symptoms such as, I have the droopy eye, twitching of the upper lid, I cannot move the eye in any direction, different size pupils, decreased sensation on the right side, no sweating on the right side, I have double vision sometimes, and no depth perception.

    The doctors still don’t now exactly what caused this to happen, but they believe that I had an allergic reaction to my meningitis shot as a baby due to the fact that I had some of the symptoms of it. The right side of my face swelled up so much that it caused the bones in my face to move so the right side is a 1/4 of an inch further than the left and that’s why I don’t have the depth perception. I have learned how to adapt to the world, I’m not really limited, I am able to drive and read but only for short periods, my eyes get tired.

    I have had a few things done to try and fix my eye but nothing has worked so far. I had surgery to lift the eye lid and stop the twitching. They attached a silicone rod to my eyelid and then to my eyebrow under the skin, that only worked for a few months. Then I tried Botox for a while but that did absolutely nothing.

    I would love to know if there are any other options out there to help fix my eye. Has your doctor talked about anything that might fix the nerve?

  15. i have the same thing to my right eye.mine was caused by a eye finally open in october.and some movement to the eye happen in nov and the eye is at idle and waiting to see what did your eye and anybody elses eye turned out?contact me at

  16. Hi Jenna and Kris.
    My surgery was 3 years ago and my optic nerve was slowly getting killed off my the tumor. During surgery there was damage to the third nerve which caused me to get a droopy eye and problems with focus co-ordination things like reading.

    Post surgery, both the nerves took about 2 years to fully stabilize. the optic nerve got a little better with some blind spots in the right eye and will not get any better than that. It went from about 40% damage to like 20-25% damage.
    The Third nerve was apparently dinged during surgery and the docs said that it should recover to a workable state soon. the droopy eyelid because of that got better every month, and is not stabilized to about 80% normal. The co-ordination problems gave me a balance problem and dizzyness. The co-ordination is also stabilized to whatever it can be. Though I still do have some depth perception and lingering balance problems.

    The doctors suggested surgery to fix the droopy lid, but it is enough close to normal that most people cannot make out the difference. The surgery is just cosmetic and will not anyway change the co-ordination problem.
    I keep doing tai-chi and eye exercises to help the eye muscles so they can compensate a bit.

    My balance problems are undiagnosed because just the eye condition cannot neccesarily cause them. I got tired of seeing all sorts of specialists and am just working on rehab to live with the whatever balacnce my brain can understand.

    Each injury and its effect is different. Let things settle down and ask the docs for exercises and rehab instead of more tests and surgeries. That is just my opinion.

  17. Dear Fellow Human Beings:

    I myself also have eye injuries as a result of physical traumatic incident. Yes, these eye injuries are signals of cranial nerve damages and neurological deficits since the trauma.

    While the eyes are one the most delicate body part in a human body system, and yet, the eyes get easily injured/affected by external factors and it could have and have had serious ramifications on a person’s life. Eye injuries truly made life less manageable and less fruitful as opposed to living without these unnecessary injuries on the eyes: our eyes and eye functions represent a major part of our lives and significance of our existences! It seems like the “best option for now is to keep searching and searching for the right answers until the eye dysfunctions/injuries are easily managed or resolved!”

    Although eye supplements may not be a cure for eye injuries, it might just “be a good way in preventing your condition from getting worse” or it may “help to speed up the recovery process from your eye injuries and eye dysfunctions” in conjunction with some of the eye exercises that you are doing GIVEN IF your body and physiological condition is safe to take these eye supplements.

    The truth of matter is “Different Eye Supplement serves different functions,” so, talk to your physician or healthcare provider about the possibility of taking eye supplements and be diligent and honest when doing your research!

    The people who came to this website already revealed diligence, courage, and integrity in finding solutions for their eye injuries/dysfunctions!

  18. I had third nerve damage from a tumor. Had surgery for the strabismus but still have some problems and looking for natural treatments to help b/c docs don't have any ideas.

  19. Reading some of these posts is rather depressing. I so wish I could trade what i have, with any and all of them.
    I had a brain tumor, right near the brain stem. When they removed the tumor, there was unprecedented bleeding and swelling, resulting in a stroke, 3 week seizure, ataxia (the most annoying thing, ever) aaaand cranial nerve damage.
    The 5th, 6th, & 7th cranial nerves all have damage, i don't know that any are completely severed, as i have function of certain muscles. I'm wondering if a few more are damaged, like the 11th for example. I bodybuild & my right trap is much bigger than my left. I'm not sure if this is because of the stroke, or what.

    1. I am so sorry Michael. I was told of similar risks. Please keep excercising and hang in there.

      The thing that irks me the most is the non existence of post surgical help for good recovery. i know that there are several nerves and muscles acting out right after, and there should be some kind of defined rehab, exercises and such, to keep the muscles from atrophying because of the damaged nerves, and also to keep the nerve recovery on track. No specialist or doc told me anything about exercises till they could do 100 tests to figure out the exact diagnosis.

      Now finally I found a good integrative therapist for yoga and balance rehab therapy for my balance and my eyes. Lets hope it keeps working and I can sit on an armless chair again.

    2. I have third nerve palsy and have been checked for all possible causes. I have ischaemic third nerve palsy with no cause. I have been advised by my opthamologist that this will heal within 3 months. I woke up a month ago with double vision, the second day, I was in emergency being tested for everything. Following a CT scan with contrast, then an MRi with contrast, I was told that I have nothing wrong and I should wait it out. So a month down the track, my eyelid is beginning to function a little bit. The droop is lifting. The last month, my eye was closed and the eyeball down and out. I do't work at the moment, however I am going back to work in a month. I take vitamin B6 and do yoga twice daily. I drink lots of water and sleep a lot. I understand this is a frustrating condition, however, I remain hopeful this will cure itself in time. Positive thinking and constant conversations with your specialist is the key. Good Luck everyone with third nerve palsy.

  20. Hello I just came across this whole blog deal.. I was just curious to know if your eye fully healed? I myself am in similar situation I was in a car accident with head trauma brain bleeding also this was back in July of 2016 now we are in January 2017 my eyelid is starting to open

    1. hi Tammy, it depends on the severity of the damage and your body. everyone heals to different extents. once your eye is open, please do start exercising your eye muscles. (look up eye exercises on google). the muscles can often compensate for some of the damage. docs might not tell u to exercises, but do them slowly and regularly.

  21. I had had a small bleed in my brain on 17 May 2014. This caused a higher than normal pressure in my head called hydrocephalus. This in turn damaged my eye muscles an I ended up with third cranial nerve palsy - and double vision. My doctor told me that the bleed was cause by some birth defect. It healed, but I still had double vision. I found a great eye doctor in Wisconsin, but he was so busy it took months to get an appointment. I started with stick-on prisms, Then I had 2 surgeries. After a year and 6 months, I finally see single again. I feel so sorry for anyone who has this. Step one find a good eye surgeon (one that operates on eye muscles). Two, schedule your surgery well in advance. You can always cancel it, but that is better than waiting months like I did. Good luck!!!

  22. Hi guys. I had an accident on 17th august 2017 and still my right eye hasn't opened even one bit. I m having 3rd cranial nerve palsy and I want to know how long it took to get to single vision for those of you who did not choose surgery.

    1. Hi Selluna, I am so sorry about your accident. I would suggest finding a good patient doctor who believes in exercising and therapy. So the suggested eye muscle exercises, and visual therapy regularly for some months before deciding on surgery or other invasive options.