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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!
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One possibility is spasm of accommodation which has been discussed here before. Access with archives and search feature. If the problem persists ask the Eye MD to refer you to a strabismus specialist or neuroophthalmologist.

JCH MD
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I'm glad to see that I'm not the only person who has had this experience. I've experienced the same problem several times over the last year. It usually occurs when I'm tired, or after sleeping or dozing. I feel like my eyes are being forced to cross and I have to fight against "the pulling." The last episode happened the end of August and it really scared me. I went to the emergency room and received no help, of course. I went to my family Doctor who had never heard of such a thing. I had blood work and an MRI done, which all came back normal. I went to an Optometrist a few months ago who said that other than Dry Eye, I had good eye health. I guess I will try what has been suggested to you. THANK YOU!
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I have this intermitent problem. I do work with a computer all day, I am short sighted, slight astigmatism in one eye, problems with floaters especialy central vision in one eye - checked out because of macular degeneration in family, have been told live with it because no problems identified.
Occasionaly get flashings light disturbances and illness without the full blown migrane.
(Female age 38 with good general health, no medication taken at all except the odd head ache tablet)
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hi, so strange (and reassuring) to find someone else with this...

after working online for an hour my eyes just did what you described - with the weird uncontrolled 'pulling'. i get it a couple of times a year and it does pass after a few moments, but it is a bit scary given you go cross eyes and cant assess depth (what if it happens when i'm driving?) i am also near sighted and suffer classic migraine aura. in the incident i just had i covered each eye in turn - the right seemed normal and i think it was just the left that was going a bit out of control!

does it seem to be mainly migraineurs that suffer?

have the ideas on here helped at all?

regards
d
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I also have this same issue. I have Fibromyalgia so I asked my Rheumatologist. He sent me for an MRI to check for MS but scan was clear. I then went to a Neurologist and had an EEG checking for seizures. The test did show slight abnormality on left sign but on follow-up EEG a year later it was normal. I also mentioned it to my Primary Dr and Gyno and neither had never heard of this. I do not have migraines but do have dry eyes and sinus/allergy problems. In an attempt to look in the mirror during one of these episodes, I did realize that if I look to either side my vision is not distorted. I have had these episodes 2-5 times per year for the last 3 years.
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I am a female almost 32 years old.  I have had the same thing happen for about 5 or 6 years.  It has been very infrequent until recently.  It has been about once for the past 2 months.  I have been to the eye doctor and my vision is fine and I had my eyes dilated to check my optic nerve and that seems healthy too. My primary doctor has had me check my blood sugar every time it's happened and it has been between 75 and 90 so that is good as well.  I do have MS in my family. My father's mother had it.  When I was 17/18 years old I had drug induced lupus because of minocycline for acne from the dermatologist. Because of this I generally do not take medications unless absolutely neccessary. I am going for a CTscan on friday and more blood work tongiht. I know from the outside my eyes don't actually look cross eyed but they feel it.  If I cover each eye I see fine.  If I look either to the left or right without moving my head it is fine also.  When I am looking straight and tilt my head down I see correctly and when I put my head back up it feel crossed.  This has been a very frustrating journey and I just want to know what is going on and what the treatment is so that it may stop.
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This morning I had a bizarre episode of crossed vision. Never experienced anything like this. There was no pain, no dizziness. My walking was off-balance, but I didn't 'feel' dizzy. It wasn't double vision or crossed eyes. My husband said my eyes looked normal. If I covered one eye, I could see normal out of the other eye. But looking with both eyes, my vision was definitely crossed.  It lasted for at least a few minutes. It could have been longer, but I rested with my eyes closed for about one hour. Woke up fine.
I am 56 y/o female, in excellent health, no ailments, not on ANY meds, superior nutrition, moderate exercise, appropriate sleep.
My husband wanted to take me to the emergency room. I'm glad I said 'no' - after reading many internet comments, there appears to be no easy diagnosis. And I wouldn't want to be subjected to being treated like a looney-tune by the so-called medical professionals who will all-too-often act like I don't know what I'm talking about.
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I am 40 years old and I thought I was crazy.  My eyes were doing funny things last week with little squiggly lines through my vision.  I did have a headache with the squiggly lines.  I went to the eye dr. and everything checked out fine.  This week I had the new symptoms.  The first time was when I was sitting at my desk working on the computer.  I just thought it was eye strain.  The second time was yesterday while I was standing at the copier at work, all of the sudden it felt like my eyes were crossed.  One of my co-workers walked in and I asked her if my eyes looked funny and she said they looked normal.  However, I was seeing things as if my eyes were crossed.  I had the same feelings as some of you others, dizziness and my eyes felt tired after the fact.  This episode really scared me because it lasted for about 7 to 10 minutes.  Even today, my eyes feel tired and strained.  
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This happened to me tonight but it lasted longer than a few minutes.  It started an hour and a half ago and is mostly gone, but I'm still having a little difficulty focusing.  At least I'm not dizzy anymore.

Usually I love trying to solve medical mysteries, but this one's freaking me out a bit.  The only thing I've found commonly mentioned by anyone else posting is the nearsightedness (I'm nearsighted).

I'm not taking any medications and very rarely get headaches.  Today I had the kind of head ache I usually get from lack of sleep (pressure behind the eyes), and I have been a little behind on sleep this week but not too bad.  I ate well today.  I've been under some stress but nothing unusual.  Blood pressure was normal when I checked it a few minutes ago.

I should go to sleep but I've been afraid to.  The dizziness has been gone for a while so I think I'll be okay.  If I find out anything, I'll be sure to post it here.
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As Dr. Hagan suggested in a post further up the page:

"One possibility is spasm of accommodation which has been discussed here before. Access with archives and search feature. If the problem persists ask the Eye MD to refer you to a strabismus specialist or neuroophthalmologist. "
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I have also had this same thing happen to me! I was sleeping for about 30 mins and when I woke up my vision was so blurred it felt like my eyes were crossed! I blinked multiple times to try to focus and finally my vision came back. I have allergy/sinus problems and nearsightedness and work with a computer all day, as some people have mentioned previously. I went to the Opthalmologist and he told me that my eyes were fine and he's never heard of this before. I don't know what to do. I hope it's not a mini stroke or TIA? I'm sure if I did all the testing, it would come back normal.
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My eye doctor ALSO said he's never heard of it but I have had the SAME thing happen with the SAME frequency as described by others here...STRANGE that this appears to be a new condition that's JUST started presenting since young doctors have been in practice...it's REAL though!
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I have the same problems you are having, migraines aura and just a few minutes ago the newest symptom eyes crossing. I have narrowed the instigators of my migraines down to a short list ,Olive oil, and Stress. The crossed eye thing scared me to death! has anyone here found anything out about this issue? I can't seem to find anything on the net! Please leave any info you have come across. Thank you.
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Look back up the posts.  Dr Hagan has provided the information you need.
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I have had the same problem where my eyes seem to cross and I get double vision! If I cover or close one eye, it goes away but it happened today while I was driving and it was very disconcerting. I closed one eye and my depth perception went away but I managed to get back without crashing into anybody or anything. I am thinking of going to see my doctor but I don't know if it warrants looking into since it happened only a few times so far? Frankly, I don't know if it is cross-eyes or double vision but it feels like the muscles of my eyes has its own mind and I do see double.

Right now as I am typing it feels like it is going to happen again and I have a slight headache. But it clear up after awhile.

I don't really know what to do!

Any help would be appreciated! Thanks!
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I've had the same thing happen to me, had my wife look me squarely in the eyes when it was happening and she couldn't see any crossing of my eyes. This leads me to believe it is a seizure of some kind which only has this symptom. I have had occasional optical migraines (no pain from it) for years and believe this is a symptom. I've also had a strange shading in one eye show up every few months to a year where I loose half of the vision in one eye that quickly resolves in a few minutes back to normal. My eye doctor sees nothing wrong.
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I also had this happened. It started almost a year ago. We had been traveling and was in an extended stay hotel. Like most of you it seemed like my eyes just got crossed and I couldn't straighten them but covering one eye seem to help for seeing. It lasted only 30 seconds to a minute and then was gone. The next time it happened was while we were in a rental office renting our apartment and and was very short. Then again one afternoon while out walking with my wife it happened again. I made it home ok after covering one eye. It has happened about 15 times in 8 months. I was hospitalized with tachycardia for a week and kept telling the doctors I had experienced that and their response was to see a eye doctor. Get this, Im in the hospital and telling the doctors that I had double vision or cross eyes and they tell me to see an eye doctor. No testing for brain problems or anything else other than cardiac. At least im pretty sure it isn't heart related but stroke related not sure although the doctors didn't seem concerned.
Also when getting out of the hospital I told my doctor several times about the occurring episodes and he just shrugged it off and give me B2 for ocular migraines . Also told me to see an eye doctor. My doctor is an internist with 40 years experience so Im trusting he could look at me and see if I had a stroke. I got scared and quit driving and have had several other episodes bringing the total to about 20 times.

For the last three months it hasn't happened but it has taken its toll on my life worrying that maybe I was suffering mini strokes but as I said my doctor did not seem concerned although he did urge me to see an eye doctor and finally after almost 8 months got me a referral to a good eye doctor but I have a fear of doctors and afraid that they will find something bad so im scared to go. I was wondering if anyone else found out what the problem was and was it serious? Please help..im very frightened about going to the eye doctor and I  have to go in five days.
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my eyes are feeling cross eyed and not focusing that well i don't know what to do, they do not hurt and i am not dizzy, no headache its been two days now i have had this. any advice  
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I just had this cross eyed, slightly dizzy / nauseous feeling for about 30 seconds.   No headache.  im 61 and have no issues, but  this happens about 2-3-4  x a year.   Just went for a Full Opthalmic exam and everything is ok.  Wear progressive glasses;  am farsighted.   From all the comments here, I gather it's from working at a computer and doing paperwork 5 days week, all day long & Stress.    Also have slight dry eye.   What surprises me is that NO doctor has heard of this ???   Hello ???  Any doctor listening ??  

And  Dr Hagan, if you are going to post something, then post something Legitimate, some real link to something you want to share,  that could benefit us all,  not your name constantly, repeatedly.   BIG Red stop sign appeared when I clicked on the word 'Feature'    As long as we all go for checkups,  this must be something 'new' associated with the new technology we deal with every day.  
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The  equal sign "="  just means I've read the new posting and don't have anything further to add.  In both the community and old "expert" forum there are many dozens of postings like this one.  This particuliar thread for the most part is easy to explain and a common complaint in any optometrist or ophthalmologists office.

Almost all of these can be explained by one of these:
1. Significant uncorrected farsightedness and corrected with reading/computer glasses.  For people that wear bifocals it oftenmeans the bifocal part (called the add) is not strong enough and needs to be increased.
2. Early presbyopic symptoms corrected with reading/computer/bifocals
3. Convergence insufficiency treated with prism reading/computer glasses  or converging exercises.
4. Dry eye symptoms   When people read, use a computer, iPad, watch TV or go to a movie their blink rate decreases. This can cause blurred vision, eye discomfort and watering eyes.  Use of artifical tears and looking up every 10 minutes from reading or the computer and blinking briskly 4-5 times can help. Also don't have air blowing in your face or over your work-station.
5. There are also people who when they do close work like read or us a computer for hours on end the focus muscle (ciliary body) gets cramped and more or less stuck in the near reading position. Think being very stiff after sitting in a chair for a long time. This is also helped a great deal by looking up every 10 minutes, focusing at something 20 or more feet away and blinking 4-5 times.
6. An uncommon cause is spasm of accommodation

If you want more information you can use the search feature, there is much discussion and a lot of answers here. You can Google: presbyopia, dry eyes, computer use syndrome, symptoms of uncorrected or undercorrected hyperopia, spasm of accommodation.

I wrote a section about this in "O" Ophrah Winfrey's magazine and received hundreds and hundreds of e mails telling me how it nailed their complaints. If O is online you can probably find it also.

JCH MD
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"And  Dr Hagan, if you are going to post something, then post something Legitimate, some real link to something you want to share,  that could benefit us all,  not your name constantly, repeatedly..."

If you read back through responses on almost any lengthy discussion on this board, you will quickly see that the "equal" sign indicates that the physicisn on duty, so to speak, has read a post but has no further comments.

On many health forums, there is not even an MD who responds in any way.  

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Thank you
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You have helped me a great deal with several eye issues, and you are most welcome.
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I have had the same experience it was very scary especially that I am 11 years old plus I have glasses but they broken I am getting them fixed
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The focus muscle is very strong age 11 so this problem is mainly in the young. If your glasses correct for farsightedness then not wearing the glasses is the likely cause.  JCH MD
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My eyes go cross eyed when u close them and also if i am focusing on an object nearby the object in the background is double and vice versa.I have very bad eyesight, -6, but i have -5 glasses. I was wondering if that was the cause. Im nearsighted and 14 years old
I spend a lot of time on my phone too
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When you look at something close if you pay close attention to the peripheral vision you will see double and if you are looking at something far away and you hold a finger or pencil up in front of you it will be double. That is normal and is called physiologic diplopia (double vision) If you are interested in the explanation of this read about it on wikipedia.
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Sudden Cross-eyed Vision NOT double vision
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