Sudden Cross-eyed Vision NOT double vision
by jenej, Apr 22, 2009
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!
by Sandy Feldman, MD, MSBlank, Apr 23, 2009
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
Related Discussions
Member Comments (17)
by jenej, Apr 23, 2009
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?
by jenej, Apr 29, 2009
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.

by geminiNEUS, May 16, 2009
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 or anything. But I am interested and nervous.
by GregSsalyers, May 21, 2009
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
by michy696, May 28, 2009
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 ?
by suethomason, May 28, 2009
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.
by RJ233, May 29, 2009
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
by blahskippy, Jun 04, 2009
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.