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Avatar universal

Double Vision and mild facial weakness

I am new here and I hope that my first post will make sense. Two weeks ago, I was driving and I noticed that I had double vision to the left. The next day I started to have mild left sided facial weakness. I waited one more day and I went to the ER and they told me I had a mild case of bells palsy and they put me on oral steroids and an anti-viral/ Then I spoke to my friend who told me that you do not get double vision with bells palsey. so I made an appointment with a neuro who ordered an MRI. It came back. Numerous greater than 20 white matter lesions in the brain, including the corpus callosum. Many of these have a periventricular and typical radiating appearance of demyelinating disease. at least two of them show contrast enhancement, one in the deep white matter of the right frontal lobe as well as adjacent to the trigone of the right lateral ventricle. There are several small foci of T2 hyperintensity in the pons as well.

Obviously my symptoms have to do with the lesions in the pons. I am waiting to see an MS specialist. Today, I saw an eye doctor and he told me that my double vision was mild. In the meantime, I got a call from my friend who spoke to a doctor friend of his who told him that I needed to be treated in the hospital ASAP with solumedral and if I was not the lesions and symptoms would get worse. I was feeling OK, until the phone call, but now I am in a panic and I don't know where to turn. Is it true that this is an emergency, that if I am not treated that my situation will worse, thanks in advance for your help. I have been having horrible palpitations since my friend called me.
8 Responses
Avatar universal
Hi Jenny, and welcome. It does sound very much like you'll soon be getting a diagnosis of MS. This is not the end of the world by any means. I suggest you do some MS reading, starting with our forum's Health Pages (upper right of screen).

I can understand why you are starting to panic, but I don't think your friend's friend has done you any favors. IV Solumedrol is often used to treat MS flares. That's very true. But not using this does not necessarily mean your disease will get worse. Doctors generally put patients on steroids to try to nip their attacks in the bud, and that usually helps for that attack. It has nothing to do with the future course of the disease.

If I were you I'd call the old neuro and ask. That should set your mind at rest until you see the MS specialist. But please don't worry, steroids are only for your comfort. Many of us here, including me, have never had a steroid infusion for MS.

Please stay with us and keep us posted on how things go.


Avatar universal
I just realized that I said I had double vision to the left, it was to the right and the facial weakness is right sided too.
Avatar universal
Thank you essdipity,
You have no idea how much better you made me feel. This person made me believe that I needed to go to the ER right now. I was really losing it. If I have an appointment within two weeks to see an MS specialist is that OK or should I be seen sooner?

Avatar universal
Well, I'd say that would depend on how you feel and how well you're functioning. It's certainly not mandatory to go the 'roid route.

If you are only mildly affected, and right now I mean only how well or bad you feel, then wait for your appointment. If you feel really bad, then go to the ER. You can take this one day at a time without harming yourself. In any case, make sure you have your actual MRI images. This would make things go easier in the ER, and will be needed by your MS specialist.

Please don't worry too much. Things will be okay!

Avatar universal
Actually, until I spoke to my friend, I was feeling fine, a bit scared but OK. Yes, I have the double vision and the very mild facial weakness, but I was trying to work on preparing for my appointment and getting all my records together.  So yes, I will wait. Thanks again.
867582 tn?1311630997

I just had your symptoms!  In fact for the first time ever I had to stop working and go lie down.  I'm still not sure whether they were stroke or MS symptoms.   I have right eye double vision and extreme weakness - especially of the right side with right facial numbness.  I chalked it up to drinking green tea with ginseng and then having stopped it for a couple of days along with all stimulants (including Provigil) for a test that I later had to cancel because of these new symptoms.

I just slept for 14 hours.

I hope you get your proper diagnosis and treatment.  I know steroids are not good for you but if you need them, they're very helpful.  I had to have steroid injection for an extremely painful shoulder joint years ago and that one injection (though awful) was worth it because my nagging shoulder pain then vanished forever!

382218 tn?1341185087
Hi Jenny,

I'm in agreement with everything Ess has advised you.  It doesn't sound like an emergency, though it's of course really important that you see that neurologist asap to figure out what is going on and decide what to do next.  

I can relate to your concerns; my double vision (along with lots of other symptoms including facial numbness) started in Sept 2007; I was dx'ed with RRMS several within several weeks; treated with solumedrol for 5 days, but the double vision persisted for a long time.  In fact even now, nearly two years later, I still have mild diplopia on my left lateral gaze.  I'm so used to it I don't even really notice it anymore.  I too have/had a lesion on my pons affecting the 6th cranial nerve which is the nerve that innervates the muscles responsible for eye movement.

The degree of recovery and time to recovery for diplopia caused by MS varies widely, depending on the degree of damage to the myelin and to the nerve itself.  Some patients recover completely within weeks; others, like me, much more slowly.  It was the source of a lot of anxiety for me, but I want to reassure that it can and most often does resolve.  There is no specific treatment for this problem, aside from IV steroids which may speed up the recovery time.  I saw an orthoptist every few weeks and she would measure how much my eyes were misaligned.  The measurement is in prism diopters (dp).  If the problem persists I would encourage you to be checked regularly and ask them for your specific measurements so you have a better sense of your rate of recovery (or, worsening, if that happens to be the case).

In any event, first off you do need to understand the underlying cause.   I hope it's not MS but if it is, you'll find this forum to be a great source of support and information.

Take care and keep us posted.  Peace.
Avatar universal
I want to thank everyone again for your concern. I did have my vision measured and the double vision was very minimal. (to the extreme lateral aspect.) I am a bit confused. Based on my MRI, will I definitely get an MS diagnosis. If that is the case will I need to get a spinal and evoked potentials. I have an appointment with an MS specialist WED.
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