Double Vision

Noticed yesterday that I see a double image looking at widely spaced text lines on a wide screen TV where the background is black. The false image is more blurred and feint. I didnt immediately think of it being double vision as somehow I have presumed that involves the images being side by side with a degree of separation, whereas these double images are spaced vertically. I noticed this with both eyes open and also with each eye shut, though only transiently with the left eye. Also found myself really struggling to swallow a piece of sandwich today, even after taking some sips of water, but then cleared, and also my arms have seemed overly heavy at times and my legs have not felt they are on full power getting up if you know what I mean. Does this make sense to anyone?

I have had double vision in the past and it does sound very similar to what you describe. I thought it was due to playing computer games and spending too much time on the computer. My optician agreed and said that it was to do with the muscle in my eye and was quite a common thing and should clear (which it did). I now assume that it was to do with my MS.

Some of your other symptoms do sound familiar but could be caused by lots of other conditions.


You could be having a relapse. I have had all the symptoms you describe during various relapses. I recovered in time from each of them. Could you contact your GP or MS nurse? They should be able to help.


I’ve had double vision in my right eye for 6 weeks now along with my other symptoms but is getting better slowly. I went to my optician on my doctor’s advise. The optician said it “Probably wasn’t double vision but blurred vision”. “Hmm”, I thought, “I know what double vision is”. I couldn’t even cross roads on my own and had to have the kids help me across and tell me when it was safe to cross! If I looked at a car there were two of them about 6 ft apart. I had to walk around with my hand over my right eye for the first few days until I got utterly fed up and decided to find my sons old eye patch from when he had a squint and had to have his eye patbhed. It looked great - it had a tow truck on it! hehe.

Anyway, I kept my mouth shut and let him decide. He decided I did have actual double vision and that it wasn’t optical. So I guess it was neurological? He sent his findings to my GP anyway.

Optician said it was probably weak eye muscles causing me to squint. I found that looking at something close up wasn’t too bad but if I tried to look up the road, for instance, to look for cars then I had no hope. Double cars coming from all directions! Confusing much! Optician said “Wow, you must be feeling awful: sick, dizzy, disorientated”. “Yes” I said. “All of those things”.

Even a friend said to me I must be spending too much time on my PC. Why is it that people just don’t believe you and you always have to prove it?

Hello Mrbobowen!

I get the double vision one on top of the other - as opposed to side by side!

I get it in both eyes - the first time it happened I was driving home one afternoon and all the cars were one on top of the other!! Both images were equally as clear! It was fascinating!!! It lasted a few days - since then it’s not been as ‘dramatic’ but I often have it with text one on top of the other x especially when I feel ill or with fatigue xxxxxxxjenxxxx

I tend to stay away from the words “Double Vision”. This could be on your records for a long time. I used the expression “Second Image” when a new pair of glasses gave me the second image. In my case it was slightly blurred and diagonal to the best one (up and right, or at “2 o/c”).

Now it helped that I started asking for my money back right away (and let them persuade me to agree to have another test). It helped that I could describe the displacement and strength of the second image quite precisely. It also helped when I let them know that my Doctorate involved human vision, and I was quite comfortable with a lot of the technical terms (subtext - do not try to bull***t me with science). It is a long time since I have had such a thorough test.

My problem is that my left eye does not put the image onto the retina in perfect alignment with the right, and the left eye has an incipient cataract (been there for ten years, without developing) so that I was getting a prefect right eye imaged and a slightly blurred left eye image. Now, the left side of each eye feed one side of the brain and the right side of each eye feeds the other side. The poor old brain did the best with what it got - and the result was this slightly blurred second image. So I get new glasses made up at no extra charge - and with a tiny amount of prism in the left lens to align the two images.

Now I need new glasses again, so I will probably go back to the same branch of the same high-street opticians (no, their name does not begin with S) so that they will have my full records there to look at.


I got this image of you Jen, bombing headlong, with doubled up cars and lights and blaring horns snarling and streaming towards you whilst you contemplate the fascination of it all! Know what you mean though. Did you get it checked out? Thanks Geoff, presume you found it went if you closed one eye. Take your point about use of words.

Yup, it goes if you close one eye.

Look at something close (say 10-12 feet), then close the eyes alternately (and do it quickly), and if what you see jumps about, then you have probably got the problem that I described. If I do that (without glasses), I can see the image move in the same direction as that for the second image.

Fascinating subject, vision. Shame it can all go wrong on you. Bit like MS in a way.


Waa haa!! Scary stuff indeed!!

Well that first episode was a Saturday morning & I phoned the optician who said to go and see my GP if it persists - it lasted 3 days but I wasn’t able to see the doc until the Thursday - so because it had gone - daft me cancelled!!

I’ve had it a couple of times since then but accompanied by pain in one eye and colour vision loss x Last year I also had an accident with a toggle hitting me in my eye - this flared up a lot of inflammation in my optic nerve and high intraocular pressure - i was having treatment for it for over a year before things settled down!!

I saw the optician 8 weeks or so ago and he says my vision has deteriorated significantly since my last prescription. After a few visits he said he believes I have glaucoma (mum & aunt do too) but that he thinks that it’s a bit of a ‘red herring’ as there is also something showing on my optic disc and also I’d lost a lot of peripheral vision on the outside of both eyes. He along with the neurospinal doc was the first to mention demyelation.

Basically he said the symptoms & signs pointed to a problem in the brain and a brain scan a few weeks ago showed up an enlarged pituitary gland (plus lesions but not in the right place for MS). I’m seeing the ophthalmologist on Monday - so hopefully he’ll sort the glaucoma and help get to the bottom of the rest of it!



I started getting this problem in 2003 and to date it has not gone away. It is worse when looking at TV screen (especially dark). Mine is a false image above and slightly to the left - it happens not just withTV but like someone else on here said, further away, for me the altar cloth in my church tends to jump up and down. I also have problems with car and bus roofs repeating themselves. Perhaps the oddest looking thing was a fire engine (scary at the best of times) with its top ladder bouncing up and down (not literally - just my wonky vision). I have found it worse when I am not well.

I read somewhere they call it ‘ghosting’ in optical parlems - which they say is not the same as double vision although if you see anything twice I would call it double vision anyway. I’ve also had the weak eye muscle theory levelled at me but being in limbo at the moment and hearing people with MS saying it is happening to them makes me think this is probably what is going on with me. Given I have this for 9 years and constant, deteriorating loss of balance for 2 years makes me think I have probable MS. The last time I saw the optician he suggested neurological (he thinks the messages getting from the brain to the eyes are getting mixed up). Having had the worst day ever yesterday, I phoned the hospital - the nearest appointment they have is July 2nd - can you believe it - so I’ll see my GP next week and see if he can bring it forward.

Someone else I know also gets double vision and they say wearing sunglasses helps - it seems to help a bit for me but with our ‘lovely’ weather lately, I’m not sure.

Take care


Thanks Patricksmate have made another post having looked up ghosting - you may like to view link under ‘visual defect simulator’ post

Could not find this post. Do you mean the simulator on the Vision Community website?

Ghosting may not be quite the same as Second Image.
Ghosting can occur when only one eye is in use, while a Second Image correctable with a prism lens is definitely binocular.
Ghosting can be due to a defect on the surface of the cornea of one eye, while Second Image is a problem between the alignment of the two eyes (usually due to the eye muscles), and can be a symptom of MS.
Ghosting can also produce more than two images, and can vary with the colours of the scene being looked at - the Vision Community simulator:

is a good way of exploring this.

Of course, there is no reason why someone with MS could not get Ghosting, and a Second Image at the same time.

Quite often, if there is some sensitivity to brighter light (not just full sunlight), this could be down to the start of a cataract - since this can scatter the light within the eyeball (activating too many of the “rods and cones” receptors in the retina).


Yes thats the right link Geoff. Thanks