Dr. Ben's Blog

Glasses: the New Political Tool?

hillary specs

Repub­li­can strate­gist Karl Rove recent­ly implied that Hillary Clin­ton had brain dam­age because of her glass­es that she wore in 2013 after a fall led to a blood clot. He said “…we need to know what’s up with that”). Well, all I can say is please don’t let Karl Rove guide your under­stand­ing of the human brain. Her glass­es had some­thing called a Fres­nel press-on prism on the left lens. We use them all the time to cor­rect tem­po­rary diplop­ia (dou­ble vision). It’s actu­al­ly a series of small prisms that allow some­one who tem­porar­i­ly sees dou­ble to see “sin­gle” . Once the dou­ble vision sub­sides, this sheet of prisms is sim­ply peeled off of the lens. Blood clots in the brain are noto­ri­ous for caus­ing dou­ble vision by press­ing on one of the nerves that con­trols eye move­ments. When the clot resolves or is cor­rect­ed, then the dou­ble vision resolves, as well. Tem­po­rary dou­ble vision is also com­mon­ly seen in dia­bet­ic patients, kids who are real­ly far-sight­ed, and old­er patients. So, the next time some­one uses a per­son­’s glass­es in a polit­i­cal attack, please ask the attack­er to read up on the issue before doing so.

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