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Sometimes my eyes don't seem to want to focus
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Sometimes my eyes don't seem to want to focus

I get this thing sometimes where my eyes seem like they don't want to focus and I feel like I have to make a real effort to look at something. If I relax them, they sometimes seem to sort of cross and I see double. It goes away if I make the effort to focus, but it does seem to make my eyes tired.

I have had this off and on before and have generally been ignoring it, but since it's back again, I'm wondering if it has anything to do with MS. Does anything like this happen to anyone else?

I seem to be going downhill more quickly recently. More spasticity/stiffness. Huge temptation to go to sleep at work and needing naps. More annoying burning paresthesias.

Grrrr.

sho
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15 Comments Post a Comment
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751951_tn?1406636463
I have the same problem.  When was your last vision test?
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338416_tn?1260996698
I also have this problem - seems to be the MS.  Sometimes my eyes double, sometimes my vision is blurry.  
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667078_tn?1316004535
That was the first thing I noticed two years ago. No amount of glasses change would help. The MS Specialist says it is nothing but its hard on me especially since my lively hood is painting animal portraits.
Alex
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333672_tn?1273796389
Jen and Alex: Thanks for the validation. Sometimes I think I'm just hyper-noticing normal stuff, but it really is making my eyes tired. I'm sorry you guys have to go through this, too. And I'm sorry your neuro doesn't take this seriously, Alex. I sometimes think if there was some magic way to make neuros live a few days in our shoes, they wouldn't be so nonchalant about stuff.

I also sometimes find myself feeling as if I'm opening my eyes really wide when I'm trying to look at the computer. Don't know if that means anything either.

Pastor Dan: I had a vision test and new glasses in December 2007. I think my vision is okay, except for those times when I sort of give into this urge to relax and things go out of focus. I am in a clinical trial so I keep seeing all these ophthalmologists who say they see nothing wrong with my eyes. I also have to do the eye-chart-reading thing and that seems to be stable. I do have some kind of thing where when I follow the doctor's finger back and forth, my eyes overshoot, but the ophthalmologist said that wasn't a typical MS finding (although he didn't say anything about what else might cause that).

My eyes seem to be a little better today (which means I was more productive at work) and I can feel my feet somewhat more so I'm counting it as a good day.

sho
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721523_tn?1331585402
The double vision coming an going and the inability to focus on small things is what gave me the MS Dx.  You should definately tell oyu neuro, adn get your regular eye exam (by an MD).
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745063_tn?1240364818
This is very interesting......I'm not dx'd with MS.  I am having problems with my eyes focusing and blurred vision.  My right eye actually gets stuck in the outer corner and it's very hard to bring it back into focus, sometimes I can't.  My doc was treating me for Myasthenia Gravis but decided that was not the problems since the bloodwork and meds didn't work.  I have also been extremely tired for the last several months.  I finally had a sleep study done and was diagnosed with Narcolepsy.  Periodically I have these episodes where my fingers on both hands go completely numb, my body starts aching from head to toe and I run a fever around 101.  It lasts for about an hour or 2 and then goes away.  All of these things started around the same time but my neuro doesn't seem to think they are related.  I had an MRI of my head with and without contrast and it was clean.  Any thoughts?
Thanks,
jae
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667078_tn?1316004535
Glad you were having a good day. I realize my PCP notices it. She will come in the exam room and my focus drifts off and she will ask what I am looking at, which is her. My Neuro dismisses everything except what he can see from scans or test results.
Alex
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Avatar_f_tn
I'm dx'd with MS for almost two years now. Am experiencing the same issues as shoshin only accompanied by dizziness and severe dry eyes. The neuro said its not MS related but may be a seizure since the EEG showed a spike. I'm going back for an MRI but since he thinks it's not the MS i'm worried it may be a tumor.
Is there anything you can do to alleviate the issue?
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382218_tn?1341185087
My double vision which started in 2007 started out and then later resolved, in a manner much like you describe, with my left eye drifting and having to force it to come back into focus.  I had a pretty major case of diplopia, it cames on over a period of days and then became very severe, ie: off the charts in terms of measurements, within a week or so.  This was along with numerous other neurological symptoms (fatigue, numbness, MS hug, etc) that resulted in MS dx within weeks of this attack.

Recovery of my double vision was slow for me, it took over a year and actually I still have some residual damage in my far left lateral gaze, but I'm so used to it now I don't even notice it.  The cause was damage to my 6th cranial nerve from a brainstem lesion.  The recovery was attributed in part to some possible remyelination but more likely due to brain plasticity/adaptation, ie: re-wiring of nerves, so to speak.  Also a possible INO, although my neuro and my neuro-ophtha disagreed on that point.

As this symptom improved, I noticed where I had previously no control over focusing my eyes back together, I could 'force' the double images into one, and they would stay that way for a few seconds and then start drifting again.  It was encouraging as I realized then, that I was indeed recovering.  It was always worse when I got very fatigued or overheated, and even now when I exercise and when I get normal sleepy at the end of the day, I can lose my focus a little.

Have your MRI's ever showed anything suspicious on your brainstem?  As the nerves that control eye movement are located there (I'm sure you already know this), perhaps this warrants further MRI of your brain?

BTW I know what you mean about your comment re; 'hyper-noticing."  As that big attack struck me in 2007, which all started out as simply a tingle in my right pinky, every day it was something new, another part of my body, another symptom, at first so minor I felt silly mentioning it.  I had such a long list of symptoms to report to my GP in one visit that I felt I must be coming across as a hypochondriac.  Good thing she did not treat me as one and took all the information very seriously.  I would encourage you to follow up on the vision issue.  An ophthalmologist can check for problems with eye movement and should be able to determine if it is likely a neurological issue for which you should be refered.

Keep us posted, and I hope things keep improving as you mentioned today.

db
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634733_tn?1316629592
Excellent post from doublevision. I have the same problem too, I have had ON twice and a dx of 'mild MS' last December currently going through a work up for a more positive dx.

I have had double vision and inability to focus correctly for some time and is a real problem when I am tired or hot.

The left eye drifts outwards and the ophthalmologist dx convergence disorder and tried prisms to correct it but the muscles are too weak to respond and it was painful trying.  Mine makes driving impossible somedays as when objects are speeding towards you my eyes cannot stay focused and things go from having a ghost on the image to 2 definite images.

Reading is difficult on these days - there is a computer programme called 'Read Me Please' which you can either buy a full copy of or download a free copy - just google it. It has helped me a lot - you copy and paste the text you want to read into it and it reads it to you.

This software along with Dragon naturally speaking has helped me tremendously in the last 2 years.

Good luck
Pat
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Avatar_m_tn
yes, me too, to some degree as what shoshin states. my VEP cam back normal last week, of which i am thankful.

i have no idea what is causing the eye issues. made an appt with the eye dr at the VA to see about new glasses. maybe they will examine the eyes thoroughly too. the right eye with its dull throbbing pain is still there on & off whether i wear my galsses or not.

as of today, as far as i know, my diagnosis is still "demyelinating disease of the CNS" whatever that means.

i know my brain is signaling to me that my right foot is being picked up but it still hits the floor from time to time. beats me if this is my eyes mis-judging distance or just a lazy leg.

good luck shoshin



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667078_tn?1316004535
I also had this electric shock sensation when I was looking at something and tracking a certain way with the double vision. That went away on its own after awhile.
Alex
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751951_tn?1406636463
I wondered about my perhaps being hypervigilant regarding some symptoms, too.  A couple of days ago, pushing a cart through the aisles and walking to the car at Wally World, my right foot wanted to drag the ground as I tried to swing it forward.  I don't think it was the new shoes; I've been wearing them for a couple of weeks, off and on.  It was only that one afternoon, though, and I hope it stays gone.
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594150_tn?1252591688
I have exactly the same problem, one doctor thought I had MS but it turns out I have a problem with my inner ear! So it might be worth ruling that out first.
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382218_tn?1341185087
One more thing.  I believe It was the complaint about my vision that got things moving for me really fast in terms of medical attention.  My initial complaints at the start of that attack, ie: the fatigue, sensory stuff, concerned my GP; my double vision had her REALLY concerned.  The very day I saw her about that, she had me on an urgent list for MRI, which was sthen cheduled within a week or so; and, she consulted an on-call neuro and called me back at home to let me know he could see me the following week.  

I think that any changes in vision, however seemingly minor in terms of affecting your functioning, should always be followed up promptly.  
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