Eye Health News

Presidents who had vision problems

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It is fairly well known that George Washington suffered from dental problems but did you know that three of our past presidents had vision problems? Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson all suffered from different eye problems. Abraham Lincoln was afflicted with strabismus which is a misalignment of the eyes causing them to point in different directions. Lincoln's right eye was his dominant eye so it did most of the work while his left eye tended to roll upward. In addition, Lincoln had mild paralysis of his left eyelid which was probably a result of a kick to the head from a horse that happened when he was ten. Lincoln was also plagued by double vision from time to time. Theodore Roosevelt loved to engage in boxing matches even while he was president and in one boxing match he received a blow to the head that left him partially blind in his left eye. This partial blindness was probably due to a detached retina. Seven years prior to becoming president, Woodrow Wilson awakened to discover he was almost completely blind in his right eye. The blindness was a result of a severe bleeding in his retina. Back then, there really was no treatment other than resting his eye for several months. It is believed that the bleeding was caused by a blockage in the main retinal vein known as central vein occlusion (CRVO). Wilson was known to have high blood pressure and high blood pressure is a risk factor of CRVO.*  

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