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Question:
I sometimes have spells (15 minutes to several hours) of double vision where the image of the left eye is displaced diagonally from that of the right making reading, TV, daily life extremely cumbersome unless I use only one of my eyes, preferably the left (not my dominant eye). Do I need cataract surgery or is this a sign of something else?  

Answer:
Double vision that abates by covering one eye or the other is not due to a cataract or a disease of the eye itself.  It is caused by a mismatch in eye movements where the two eyes are not in sync and may be looking in slightly different directions. The fact that your condition is intermittent is less common but there are many possible causes. Possible causes include ocular myasthenia, intermittent nerve palsies that may be related to temporary blockage of blood flow to parts of the brain that control the ocular motor nerves, migraine, tumor, stroke, thyroid eye disease, or other diseases that involve the muscles around the eye or the orbit. Other neurological conditions such as MS, Parkinson's and a long list of other conditions may be responsible. It is very important to have this checked by an Eye M.D.

Answered by: Gary Hirshfield, MDDr. Gary Hirshfield

Categories: Eye Conditions

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Answered: Dec 08, 2012

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