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Contacts Give Monocular Double Vision

I am a 51 year old man. I just obtained trial contact lenses a week ago and had a tremendous improvement overall. Primarily for reading, but they also correct for some distance vision.

However, while reading is improved, I notice that each individual eye is seeing two images. One is very sharp and high contrast, while the other seems fairly sharp but lower contrast. When reading type, the second image appears to be offset by about half a character width, and it could be offset in any direction from the clearer image.

I visited the optometrist to evaluate how I am doing one week after getting the trial lenses. He did not seem to be familiar with this double vision phenomenon (I can't find anything substantial on the internet either) and said my brain will probably adjust so that the problem goes away. (I have trouble believing that, since I am assuming that I have two images on the retina. Maybe he means I'll learn to live with it.)

In the mean time, he fitted me with stronger reading vision and now my far vision is noticeably poorer. Apparently, I can't keep the far vision correction that I had while getting a stronger reading prescription. Reading is better, I think, but I still have the monocular double vision (in both eyes). As a matter of fact, it is now very noticeable in my far vision, also.

I feel like the lenses are giving me sharp images, but the double vision is making their use a strain for me.  What's really going on?

My original trial prescription may have been best, except for the monocular double vision. I was able to do almost everything I needed to do curing the day with just the contacts lenses in.

I am using soft lenses and they have concentric rings at two focal lengths. (I don't know the correct terminology for this style.)

Thanks,
3 Responses
284078 tn?1282616698
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
Sounds like you are using a bifocal contact lens like Acuvue Bifocal for example.  You seem to be having some issues with vision quality which are probably due either to the bifocal design or possibly some uncorrected astigmatism.  Either way you will need to try another contact lens.  One final note - there is an outside possibiloty that a cataract could be causing some of your symptoms.  Consider seeing and EyeMD Ophthalmologist for a second opinion regarding the contacts and other potential causes fo the double images.

Michael Kutryb, MD
Avatar universal
Thanks for the reply. I think I'll see an ophthalmologist to check on the issues you mentioned. I have never noticed an astigmatism this severe as when I have the contacts in, but I guess it's best to have that checked.

What other types of bifocal design options are available for me, and where can I learn more about them?
Avatar universal
A related discussion, monocular double vision in contacts was started.

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