Eye Care Expert Forum
Sudden Cross-eyed Vision NOT double vision
About This Forum:

Our Ask-A-Doctor Eye Care Forum is where you can post your question and receive a personal answer from physicians affiliated with the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

Font Size:
A
A
A
Background:
Blank
Blank
Blank
This expert forum is not accepting new questions. Please post your question in one of our medical support communities.
Blank Blank

Sudden Cross-eyed Vision NOT double vision

I've looked everywhere online and haven't found a single thing about these incidents/episodes with my vision.  FYI - I have astigmatism in both eyes, nearsighted, migraines with aura, and that's all I can think of that would be related to why this happened.  I am 31 years old, female.

About four weeks ago (3/28/09), suddenly my vision went cross-eyed.  But I was not intentionally crossing my eyes.  It felt the same as if I were intentionally crossing my eyes, but I could not control my eye movement at all.  It lasted about 45 seconds or so.  Then my vision went back to normal.  I felt the slightest bit dizzy (not even 10 minutes), and my eyes felt strained (for about an hour) afterward, but I was not in any pain, and my eyes did not hurt.  I did nothing about it at the time, because I figured it was nothing to worry about.
This happened a second time two days ago (4/20/09), exactly the same except it lasted only about 30 seconds.  And the same feeling...slightly dizzy (about 5 minutes), and eye strain (about an hour) afterward.  None of the same circumstances were present from the first time it happened.  Just out of the blue, sudden cross-eyed vision.
I immediately looked online to see who I should call/see (ophthalmologist or neurologist?) & made an appointment with an ophthalmologist.  My appointment was this morning.  My eye exams were all normal...nothing out of the ordinary.  She set me up with a blood test for possible myasthenia gravis, but she says it's most likely not the issue. She said she wasn't really sure what to tell me because she had never really heard of this before.
She told me that the next time it happens to cover up one of my eyes to see if I can see clearly.  She also said it could possibly be a TIA, but I am not in the right age group.  My main concern is if it happens while I'm driving, as it could be very dangerous!

Any ideas?  Explanations?  Suggestions?  Thank you!
Related Discussions
517208_tn?1211644466
Dear jenej,

You do not mention your eyes.  I would recommend that you obtain a workup and seek the care of a neuro-ophthalmologist.  This type of physician should be able to best assist you.  You might require a cardiac, carotid workup; however, without the benefit of an examination, it is not known exactly what is required.

Dr. Feldman

Sandy T. Feldman, M.D., M.S.
ClearView Eye and Laser Medical Center
San Diego, California
17 Comments
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Thanks, Sandy for your response.  However, I do not know what you mean by me not mentioning my eyes.

What else do I need to say about them?  (That may come across as defensive over messaging, but I assure you, I'm just curious.)  My eyes felt like I was crossing them, but I was not intentionally doing so.  I don't know how to explain it any other way.

And, what do you mean by a workup?  I had an appointment with an opthalmologist yesterday, and I am now waiting for the results of a blood test, and had a complete eye exam (as mentioned in my post).

I have an appointment with my family doctor tomorrow.

Thanks, Sandy.  Can you please clarify?
Jen
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
After some findings in the last couple of weeks, I figured I should mention the things I have discovered.

I had the appointment with the ophthalmologist, and discovered nothing.  Completely normal eye exams.  I then had a physical appointment with my regular doctor and I have not yet received my results of several blood tests, but she had no clue what could have happened.

BOTH the eye doc and family doc looked at me like I was a crazy person after describing my sudden involuntary cross-eyed vision (NOT to be confused with double vision!!!!!!!) and neither had any idea what could have been the cause.

**I did not mention in my original post that I am taking the generic form of Wellbutrin, called Bupropion.  BOTH doctors I saw were informed of this before any exams took place.

I just yesterday morning had an appointment with my psychiatrist.  I told her about the two cross-eyed incidents.  

One of the main concerns with this medication is that a dosage of 400mg/day or more can cause seizures in patients.  In February, for the first time, I was put on this antidepressant.  At first, I was taking 200mg/day, and 6 weeks later, the dosage was increased to 300mg/day.

The first cross-eyed incident was one week after I started the 300mg/day.

She immediately said that she would decrease my dosage to 200mg/day and add a different kind of antidepressant, because it is possible that I was experiencing mini-seizures!!!

I have since been researching seizures and the different types online, and it seems I am not the only person who has experienced this and/or experienced many doctors NOT knowing what was happening.

I just wanted to spread the word.

Thanks!
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Original Poster  - the same thing happened to me and at around the same time frame too! I am also 31 years old, but male, and last month I went cross eyed very briefly twice in a week. I simply shook myself back into single vision, but I was worried... immensely. I went to an optometrist/eye doctor who dialted my pupils and said he saw no signs of injury or degeneration (other than an astigmatism). But I am still VERY concerned - I am on vacation and haven't driven in 2 weeks (havent had to) - about my eye's behavior when I return. Am I going cross-eyed intentionally? It has only happened a couple of times, but I am wondering if it is behavioral (ie. poor back posture or  poor "eye" posture??). During my vacation my eyes have not gone double when reading, viewing movies, on the comp... Just overly-worried, but then again cross-eyedness is NO joke and could indicate something worse. Oh - Original Poster - Please get back to me so we can compare notes. PS. I don't have MS in my family,  and I don't migranes (migraines) or anything. But I am interested and nervous.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
This just happened to me today.....if I focused on something real close(3 or 4 inches) it was ok, but anything further and it was exactly like having crossed eye. Of course the vision problem then starting making me dizzy and sick to my stomach. It took about 4 or 5 minutes for it to go away
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
wow so strange this same incident happend to me at work tonight it lasted a little longer about 1 mintue and  my vision was crossed and felt like my eyes were going cross eyed it also made me very dizzy and scared after about a minute it went away  but i was still paranoide and worried i came online to reasearch about it..
i do get really bad migrains and wonder if that has anything to do with it?
should i be making an eye doctor appointment ?
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
This happened to me last night. I really felt like I'd gone cross eyed for about 30 seconds. My boyfriend said that I hadn't and my eyes looked normal and I tried to see in the mirror and they looked normal to me but I couldn't see properly. It was just like voluntarily crossing your eyes but not voluntary and my eyes weren't actually crossed!

This is really weird. It's happened to me before twice over the last four years or so and I use computers all day and am wondering if it is anything to do with this? I don't get headaches but my eye sight is getting worse as I get older.

I have just started to take antidepressants as well, just like the original poster, and am wondering if this is a mini seizure of some kind. It just felt like an eye problem but I don't know what a seizure would feel like.

It was difficult to get my boyfriend to take me seriously as he couldn't see any change in my eyes but it felt very dramatic to me.
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
My daughter had that problem from childhood. We went to an eye specialist. It is called lazy eye. The muscles pull the eye in the direction it goes. It comes from one muscle being weaker than the other. When you get tired the eyes will do it as well as other times. If you see double vision when it happens then he told us that was a good sign the vision is healthy. They can clip the muscles (actuallly it affects both eyes, not just one. He clipped hers (he is an eye surgeon) to correct the problem. Sometimes it will still do it when she gets really tired, but is not really bothered with after the surgery. I am suprised that the drs that different of you have seen have not looked at that symptom. Lazy eye as they call it is hereditary. Her grandmother had it and my daughter and grandaughter  both had it. They operated on my grandaughter also and she has never complained about any more trouble, but hers was done at a very young age. It was out patient and not a serious medical procedure. It is not the eye vision it is a muscle problem. My daughter was about 10 when it started and lasted for short periods when she got tired, then it finally was permanent, until the dr corrected it.

I can say that working on a computer all day can have its affect on vision. The glare, any improper lighting, can all affect your vision. If you wear glasses the anti-glare is a good thing to have added. I had it put on mine and it helped a lot, and even with the glare on the roads on rainy nights. The eye dr was also an eye surgeon.  
Hope this helps some of you out. Check it out on google.

I had a spell of the dizziness like I had turned circles once, lasting for a few hours. By the time I got to the dr it was gone. He thought it was menopause, but I also had high blood pressure and was not on meds for it at that time. I tend to believe it was high blood pressure that caused it. That still remains a mystery but it still happens now and then for about 30 seconds. RJ
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
Hi... My 8 year old daughter started getting the same symptoms that you describe about 2 months ago and it happens at least once a week now. She gets the feeling that her eyes are going to cross and then gets the double vision for about 30 seconds to about a minute then she gets really dizzy and sick to her stomach. Just recently she has started getting a headache afterwards. I too have taken her to an opthamologist and everything is normal. He suggested she see a neurologist. I am really worried that it could be something serious since it came on suddenly and it keeps happening.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Hi, I'm sorry your little girl is having this trouble. I have looked into my own problem and I'm not too worried. I was reading about a thing called 'convergence insufficiency' (http://www.convergenceinsufficiency.org/) but am not sure as this cross-eyed feeling thing doesn't quite fit the symptoms list but there are many similarities.

One eye health website says: Convergence insufficiency is the most common type of eye muscle or visual-motor problem in the United States, with a reported prevalence among children and adults of anywhere from 5 to 13%. Principal symptoms can include diplopia (double vision), headaches, loss of concentration while reading, carsickness, avoidance of reading, blurred vision, and/or eyestrain. Symptoms are on the rise with increased reading, desk work, and computer use.

I use computers all day, I've come to avoid reading because it's uncomfortable and I get car sick and eye strain. I often find myself instinctively covering one eye while reading.

I also found this which fits well, too:

http://tinyurl.com/qv759e

Also check this out: http://www.strabismus.org/intermittent_strabismus.html.

And: http://www.lazyeye.org/

Ask your daughter's doctor about all of these things - insist if you are ignored, although don't worry about it as they are only possibilities and all you are doing is making sure you get taken seriously and your daughter's complaints aren't taken lightly.

I have been to the optician and told that I have an astigmatism, meaning my eyes are focusing on different points when doing close up work and my eye muscles are constantly straining to look at the same point, causing muscle tiredness which could be the whole problem. I'm getting my reading glasses this week and they've got a special prism in them that will help this and take away the muscle strain.

My eyesight is quite good and I can see clearly close up and distance so it's a bit of a bummer having to wear glasses for reading!

One thing I'll say is don't worry about your daughter at all because I think this is a general eye problem that is easily treated with glasses or vision therapy but do get it sorted out.

I hope this has helped.

Sue
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Hello everyone,

I experienced the same symptoms. Check out ocular/vision migraines. It is possible to have migraines without pain. Symptoms include crossed vision without crossing of the pupils, loss of vision, or bright flashing lights. They are relatively harmless but are annoying.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I am a 36 year old male and had an aortic dissection 2 years ago.  Since then, I am on a high dose of blood pressure medicine.  I take 300 mg of metoprolol, and 10 mg of norvasc.  I have had these eye episodes a couple times in the last 2 years since my surgery.  My thought is that it may be due to a sudden drop in blood pressure.  The last time I had an episode (just yesterday), I checked my blood pressure and my bottom number was 50.  It may have been lower when the actual incident took place.  Anyway, I thought I would share this information with everyone.

Take care and God Bless+ and may we all have good health.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
A related discussion, im also having the ctoss eyed syndrome was started.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
A related discussion, Involuntary Eye Crossing was started.
Blank
1521904_tn?1291174396
A related discussion, subben cross eyedness and dizzy spell was started.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
A related discussion, Cross eyed was started.
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
Hi. I have had the exact symptoms for 10 years. It has never been incapacitating, but when it does happen it is frustrating. It may not happen for 3 months, then it will happen 3 times in a day. Lasts about 10 minutes. I've seen a neurologist, opthomologist, optometrist, cardiologist. I've had the diagnoses of atypical migraines, seizure activity, the weak eye muscles...i still don't really know exactly what it is. This is the first time I've ever heard of people having the exact same symptoms. By the way, I am a 39 year old dentist, am in good shape. The only med I take is an antidepressant. The things I've found in common for my various episodes are possibly when I haven't had enough sleep, and when I'm under a lot of stress. Also, I've always had low blood pressure. I've I had to guess what mine are I would say atypical migraines. I'm fine for now living with these symptoms and functioning fine. As I said, it's been about the same for 10 years. I'm just hoping it never gets worse. Anyway, thank you for your post.
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
On july 15th 2011 I was walking into a store and my vision suddenly felt like I was cross eyed. No pain. I actually felt in a good mood and kinda goofy. I couldn't walk without falling over. I went to the ER and the doctors said they had never seen or heard of anything of the sort. It lasted several hours. I noticed that if I looked to the lest both eyes would go left. If I looked right only my right eye moved left and my left eye stayed straight. There was a pressure behind my left eye and my eyelid was feeling heavy and it was hard 2 keep my left eye open. I had an ekg, cat scan, and an MRI. All the tests found nothing. When I was released from the hospital the next day I felt slightly dizzy and I slept a bunch. I know I wear my contacts more than I should, so there could be an infection in my optical nerve. I take pain killers everyday as well. Maybe that has something 2 do with it.
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
Yea I think it has something to do with the drug u all been taking. We really don't know the side effects of those drugs. It can be really disrupt the normal cycle of how your body function. I just had that today and I've never had it before in my life.

Recently, I've been taking some pills to help me sleep at night. The label claimed the pills to be 100% natural but some how today I woke up with crossed eyes vision and after reading this post I notice most of us are on some kind of medication.

So I guess we should refrain ourselves from taking too much of these pills regularly.
Blank
1770221_tn?1313961725
A related discussion, Eyes crossing involuntarily was started.
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
A related discussion, Same thing was started.
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
I read the top post by jenej and for a second I thought I'd written it!  I experienced the exact same thing today. I also get migraines with aura.

After today's incident, I still feel dizzy and have a stiff neck as though I've had a migraine. I too have had an MRI, which came back clean and good. I'm shocked that all these people seem to have this happening and there's no answers yet.

I'll keep checking back!  Thanks!
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
A related discussion, Cross Eyed Vision was started.
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
A related discussion, sudden cross eyed vision was started.
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
A related discussion, HELP EMERGENCY- sudden distortion/ cross- eyed vision was started.
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
A related discussion, you are not alone was started.
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
A related discussion, Crossed vision was started.
Blank
Continue discussion Blank
This Forum's Experts
233488_tn?1310696703
John C Hagan III, MD, FACS, FAAOBlank
Discover Vision Centers of Kansas City
Kansas City, MO
2078052_tn?1331936700
Doreen Fazio, M.D.Blank
Amerisight Institute and Valley Eye Center
Van Nuys, CA
1731421_tn?1358826971
Timothy D McGarity, M.D.Blank
Timothy D. McGarity, M.D. P.C.
Columbia, MO
711220_tn?1251894727
Ray T Oyakawa, MDBlank
Sharper Vision Centers
Torrance, CA
MedHelp Health Answers
Blank
Weight Tracker
Weight Tracker
Start Tracking Now
RSS Expert Activity
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
Emotional Eating Control: How to St...
Aug 28 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
233488_tn?1310696703
Blank
New Cannabis Article from NORTH Mag...
Jul 20 by John C Hagan III, MD, FACS, FAAOBlank
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
3 Reasons Why You are Still Binge E...
Jul 14 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank