ON and double vision

I’ve just been given a 5 day course of steroids for my optic neuritis and double vision. The double vision has crept on over the last few days to the point where i just can’t see straight and I’m dizzy, stumbling etc.

Just wanted to ask whether anyone had experienced this and how long did it take to clear up? I’m worried as I am a single mum to my 2 children (and dog!). Work is a big worry as I’ve had time off for 2 relapses in 3 months plus time after a bad reaction to medication. As I am alone paying the mortgage I really do feel concerned. plus I really would love to see again.

Thanks in advance for any help.



Hi Cathy

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.

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.

And just to check, are you claiming the disabled component of working tax credits? Also, have you heard of Access toWork? It’s a government thing to help people with disabilities to work. It might be worth speaking to them to see if there’s anything they can do that would help.

Hope you get the support you need.


Hi Dan,

thanks for your reply, I’ll certainly give those exercises a try starting in the morning. I’d be happy to get up now as I can’t sleep thanks to the steroids!

I’ve got the disabled part of the working tax credit in place thanks but access to work is a new one on me. I’ll check it out, it could help.

thanks again,




I’ve had double vision and other eye probems which may be ON but I don’t think I’ve had them at the same time. When I had double vision I had an eye patch which really helped. The one they gave me at the hospital was a plastic one that you put a cotton pad behind and stuck on with tape. Luckily my dad had an old one, like a pirate patch which was much better as it was dark behind it and on elastic so it was more comfortable to wear.

The other thing I’ve had which may be ON was my eyes moving about too much, making me wobble. The MS eye lady (can’t remember her proper title) at the hospital put frosted tape down the sides of some very pale sunglasses that I had. It really helped with my balance.

It maybe worth asking your MS nurse if they have an eye person at your hospital, to see if they can help at all.



Hi Sue,

I’ve been in touch with my MS nurse again who wants me to wait until a week after I finish the steroids to see if there’s been an improvement in my vision before she will refer me to anyone else regarding the eye. In order for me to get around at home I do need to cover up the eye but it’s been getting worse each day. I could keep it covered up all the time but don’t know if that’s the best course of action.

I’ve been using my own home made patch as the only type I can find locally is a black pirate style on string! Uncomfortable with glasses as well as slightly strange looking! Good for keeping the children amused with pirate antics though.

So hoping for an improvement but as I’ve never had this before I don’t know how long that will take. Frustrating.



Hello Cathy,I hope things are improving for you.I had ‘cartoon double vision’ seven years ago,I took oral 'roids for five days and it cleared up after three weeks.When I saw the Neurotic months later he said it WASNOT optic neiritis, but a different problem.He didn’t reckon the steroid will have helped,but who will ever know.

I did the same as you and covered one eye so I could do things.I don’t think it made any difference which one I covered.I didn’t/couldn’t drive for a month and I think if DVLA had known about the double vision they might have suspended my licence.

I know how to get parrot poo off the shoulders,and steroids are great for housework,defrosting the fridge, counting the sugar,and cleaning the grout in the bathroom…Brown sauce and somebody elses tooth brush.

Good luck,

Wb x

Haha! Love the mix of practical and funny advice!

It’s my right eye that’s affected, with the muscles just not keeping it centre. Keeps drifting towards my nose. That kinda freaks the kids out though so another good reason to keep it covered (except when I’m feeling cruel!). Hoping this is ‘just’ a relapse and will clear up soon. Not very good at being patient and still new to this whole malarkey.

Will be in touch when I need more advice on the parrot poo!



Hello again Cathy,your X2 vision sounds like it’s caused by the naughty right eye,whereas nothing unusual in either eye was spotted by whoever gazed deeply into mine. Being an impatient patient is par for this course,but the 'roids do need a couple of weeks to soak in.

I’ve crossed everything which should uncross,

Wb x

Hiya Cathy

I have suffered with the double vision for 8 years. A slow deterioration. Seems that the MS likes to attack my eye muscles.

However, I finally saw and chased a Ophthalmologist last year who deals with MS people as well in Liverpool. He gave me a botox injection in the eye muscle and it improved! Wow! It’s only temporary unfortunately and needs 8 week top ups. The process was so simple and is easier than putting contact lens in. Now I am on a waiting list for surgery.

I would strongly recommend to see a Ophthalmologist, Cathy. Mine is such a miracle worker!


My double vision crept up on me over a few days, like yours. To begin with, I wondered whether I was imagining things, but quite soon there was absolutely no doubt and I felt as if I was in a Salvador Dali painting. But it did not last long and resolved completely and I hope it is the same for you.



Thank you both, I really do hope (obviously), that this will resolve when the relapse decides to flee but I’m slowly realising that I have no control over this at all. Control freak? I like to think independent is a better description!!

It’s great to hear that there’s a good ophthalmologist locally. I’m due to contact the MS nurse again at the end of the week and will definitely investigate.