Double Vision

In February I had a cold which made my MS worse and I was out of work for five weeks. I returned to work for a week only to come down with a full-blown relapse, complete with walking problems and double-vision. I saw my neurologist and was given steroids which I took a fortnight ago. I am starting to feel more strength in my legs now, bit my double-vision persists. I keep hoping that tomorrow morning I will wake up and my double-vision will be gone, but it never happens. It is so frustrating and it affects everything I do. (I have temporarily surrendered my driving licence - in case you’re worried). What are your experiences of double-vision? How long can I expect the double-vision to go on for, and are there any exercises I can do to help it? Any replies would be helpful. Thank you.


Hope your ok

I had double vision / optic neuritis last year - Its soooo annoying and felt like as though I was looking through cotton wool. Mine steadily improved over around 4 months and it now at about 95% of normal vision so im happy with it.

Unfortunatly i doubt there are exercises as its a problem with the nerve not the muscle.

My advice would be to get on with your life best you can and enjoy what is still good in life!

Sending my best wishes


Thank you Tom, I was rather hoping it is going to be quicker than that. I will have to have more patience.

Don’t worry too much about it.
Yes, there are some exercises - but less than 10% benefit from them, and some get an adverse effect. The thing is the diplopia (give it its proper name) could be due to the muscles controlling the focus of the eyes, or the muscles controlling the aim of the eyes (both of these controlled by different nerves), or in the optic nerves themselves, or in the parts of the brain that translate the messages coming down the optic nerves.

I have been driving for some years with double vision - which has been corrected by prism lenses. Most high street optometrists can sort it out, and if it gets really bad then you end up with a referral to the nearest orthoptic team and they sort it out.

The first thing to do is as soon as the effect seems to stabilise, get into a good optometrist and get your eyes tested. This will eliminate some of the common problems with eyes in general. You want an optometrist who puts a pair of frames on your face, and tries out lots of lenses. I would suggest an independent, or someone whose name does not involve two Ss and that is not a judgement on the company, but rather on the equipment used.

It may well stabilise back to normal (I know of one case that was gone in two weeks) or it could take a lot longer. Either way, it can be fixed, and you can be driving again.


Hello, as this is my first post it may take a while to show so forgive me if it repeats other replies. I have had double vision twice both time for approx six weeks, it gradually came on over a few days to a week and gradually went the same way. Very scary at worst and inconvenient at best. I found it easier when my vision was totally double as I could see better overall whereas when the vision overlapped it was difficult to see anything clearly. I found using an eye patch would give me single vision, if you do this you must change eyes regularly so as not to overstrained either eye. To be honest the second time I had double vision I hardly bothered with the eye patch. Hope any of that helps and hope you recover quickly. Jan

Thank you Geoff. I am shortsighted anyway and have been going to an excellent independant for over forty years. I have already spoken to him and will see him once I get some improvement. I am looking forward to driving again - I have a gleaming new Golf parked outside -itching to get behind the wheel again. Thanks agin for taking the trouble to write such an informative reply.

When I got diplopia last year I didn’t realise I had MS and the GP thought it was blocked tubes. She said to use Beconase nasal spray and it did clear up. Of course it probably cleared up because the relapse was finishing but who knows. I’ll def try it again if I get diplopia back.

My Diplopia lasted about 8 weeks full on and then woke up one morning 70% improved , here I am now 13 months later and now 95% but still improving . Still seems to come back if tired or stressed. I know how you feel , so frustrating and wanted mine to just fix themselves . As Geoff said , I had temporary prism ( stick on ) and totally gave me my life back. Good luck

In my November relapse my eye muscle completely stopped working at kept looking up every time I moved I was sick I wasn’t dx at that point and it was the weekend got out straight to Aberdeen and they instantly accepted me moved me to a wArd got a neuro then sent me to optholidist or someone why did eyes he said at that point there is nothing I can do for you as it was so bad. I had my eye patch for 2 weeks then one I stopped being sick when it came off. Showering was horrendous. It Started a week before it hit big time as I was away with my son for a few days and every time I got in the car I had to close my eyes and fell asleep lol. But I was driving again within 4 weeks with neuro approval x If I’ve been playing with my kids and making funny faces I still feel I get tired slightly x


I got referred to an ophthalmologist a few years ago when I was getting double vision. She gave me some eye exercises to build up the strength of my eye muscles and they sorted it out for me, so I must be one of the lucky 10%!

The two main ones I did would be easy for you to try. The first one involved a strip of card about 9 inches long with a line down the middle and a dot on it every inch & a half or so. I had to hold the card horizontally under my nose so that it pointed away fromme, parallel to the ground. I would have to look at the dot furthest away and try and make it so that I saw just one dot. When I’d done that I’d look away for a few seconds and then do the same thing with the next nearest dot, I’d have to repeat this for each dot until I couldn’t do it any more.

The other exercise was very similar. I’d hold my my arm straight out in front of me and point my finger up. I’d look at my finger and try to make it so I only saw one finger. Then I’d look away for a few seconds, bring my finger a bit closer to me and then repeat. I’d keep doing this, bringing my finger a bit closer each time.

I’d do these a few times a day. I was warned that I might find the double vision would get worse at first, but that was perfectly normal. It’s just like starting going to the gym for the first time - because the muscles have never been exercised like this before, they’ll naturally be very tired at first. But they’ll start to build up their strength, and then you should start to see an improvement. I only needed to do them for a week or so and I found that I didn’t get the double vision any more.

I hope that helps.


Thank you Dan, I shall give those a try.

My double vision was a VI nerve palsy it went to both eyes. Left eye had it for 2.5 months, right eye for 6 weeks. It took the steroids to shift it.

I am noticing improvement every day. When I wake up it is normal for a couple of minutes, today this had increased to ten minutes. Feeling rather excited.