Are you a patient from another State or Country?
Dr. Morrison is an expert in contact lenses for double vision and provides online consultations for those unable to travel to Scottsdale.
Click here for more information.
WHY DOES DOUBLE VISION OCCUR?
True "double vision" occurs because of a misalignment of the eyes. An incorrect prescription or eye condition can cause images in either eye to appear "double" but it is not the same. Doctors can help to distinguish between these two types.
Sudden, obvious, double vision is an emergency and requires an immediate appointment with your Doctor.
When the eyes are not aligned correctly, the brain is unable to put the right eye and left eye images together. This results in two clear, but separate images.
Those with double vision often need a prism in their glasses, which helps move images to where the eye sees them, allowing the brain to put images together once again.
Sometimes misalignment of the eyes can be very subtle, only noticed by your Doctor on examination, and can result in eye strain that is more severe than average. This must be corrected in order to achieve comfortable vision once again.
CAN CONTACTS CORRECT MY DOUBLE VISION?
Yes! Contact lenses can correct double vision, but there are limitations.
With soft contact lenses, only a certain amount and type of prism may be put in the lenses.
With scleral lenses, many kinds and amounts of prism may be added but the lenses must be perfectly fit to work properly.
The best way to see if contact lenses with prism are an option for you is to have a consultation. We will measure the eyes and determine if you would benefit from this type of technology, and what type of lens you would qualify for.
In rare cases that a person has double vision due to having poor vision in one eye that is getting in the way of the vision of the other eye, there is an option to occlude the eye with a prosthetic lens. This involves making a contact lens with a black circle over the pupil. This will remove vision from this eye but fixes the double vision and allows the patient to not resort to other methods of relief, such as wearing an eye patch.
WHAT ARE CONTACT LENSES FOR DOUBLE VISION?
Some patients have difficulty seeing singular images. This can happen when either the eyes don't work well together, or one eye has a drastically different vision than the other eye and the two images aren't lining up.
When eyes don't work well together, some patients need a prism in their glasses. The prism moves an image so it can help vision when eyes are not aligned.
Prism can be used in contact lenses as well, but there are limitations. With soft contact lenses, only a certain amount of prism may be put in the lenses. With scleral lenses, many kinds and amounts of prism may be added but the lenses must fit perfectly to work properly.
Other patients with double vision can only alleviate their double vision with an eye patch. This is when the vision in one eye is distorted (usually a result of surgical complications) and the distorted image interferes with the clearer image from the other eye. A last resort option to fix this double vision is through an occlusion prosthetic contact lens.
If you have double vision, the best way to see what you need and what your options are, is for you is to have a consultation. We will measure the shape of your eyes and determine if you would benefit from this type of technology, and what type of lens we would need to use.
We have many out of town patients who have their consultations via online first to see if they would benefit from visiting us, or having a lens designed from afar. To learn more about online consultations click here.
HOW DO PRISM LENSES WORK?
Prism is used to bend light (a.k.a. an "image") to where your eye is.
Our brains use two images (right eye and left eye) and fuse them into one image. This gives us depth perception.
When this fails, a person will see double.
A prism is used in glasses (or contact lenses) to take an image and move it so that the brain can fuse the two images.
There are two types of double vision: horizontal and vertical.
Vertical double vision is when the two images are above and below the other.
Horizontal double vision is when the two images are side by side.
This doubling will go away when you close one eye. If the double vision remains with one eye closed, there may be more issues at play and a comprehensive eye exam is recommended first.
Vertical double vision can be corrected with soft contact lenses or hard contact lenses.
Horizontal double vision can ONLY be corrected with one lens: the EyePrintPRO scleral lens.
Both of these can work extremely well! Our consultations include a thorough assessment of all ocular issues and a discussion about options to see your best!
HOW DO OCCLUSION CONTACT LENSES WORK?
Occlusion prosthetic contact lenses are soft contact lenses that block out all images from one eye. These are ideal for patients who have very distorted vision in one eye that is interfering with the other eye and cannot be fixed with any other lenses.
Some patients who have corneal diseases can completely clear their double and distorted vision with a specialty contact lens. We have had many patients go from 20/400 vision (the big "E" on the eye chart) to almost 20/20 vision with a custom lens. You can learn more about our specialty lenses here.
Distorted vision that results from complications from retinal surgery, trauma, or conditions such as myasthenia gravis, may never be able to be corrected with a contact lens or glasses, which is why patients choose to wear a specially designed occlusion prosthetic contact lens instead of wearing an eye patch.
This lens is easy to insert and remove, can be designed from afar after an online consultation, in some cases for out of town patients, and lasts about 1 year.
These photos are from a patient of ours who had horizontal double vision. We took impressions of the ocular surface in order to create an extremely stable EyePrintPRO scleral lens. This lens incorporated 2.5 Diopters of prism in each eye. This got rid of her double vision. We also added multifocal optics to the lens so the patient was able to see in the distance and to read without any glasses.
One of our patients had vertical double vision after damage to his eye socket during the Oklahoma City Bombing in 1995. He had permanent double vision, more noticeable while he was looking down at a golf ball.
We fit this patient with a soft contact lens with prism. This prism corrected his double vision so he could play golf again.
Another patient of ours is a professional athlete who lives in a different country. He was evaluated by a specialist in his country and the United States who spoke with us to design a contact lens for double vision.
He had significant vertical double vision that worsened with exercise. We shipped him lenses with multiple different prisms to try. He ended up functioning and playing much better with the strongest prismatic soft contact lens.
He continues to see his local Doctor to maintain his ocular health with the lens.
This patient presented to us on a referral from a prominent physician in the area. They had longstanding double vision and wore monovision soft contact lenses (one eye for distance, one eye for near).
After evaluating her, her double vision was able to be eliminated with 3.0 Diopters of prism in one eye. However, we thought that the doubling she experienced was potentially a result of her monovision, and not her true eye turn, since her double vision wasn't prevalent all the time when out of her contact lenses.
We trialed her with soft contact lenses in both eyes to correct her distance prescription. So far she is doing well with no double vision with these lenses.
If her double vision manifests again, we will fit her with custom soft contact lenses with vertical prism correction.
This patient suffered from double vision from myasthenia gravis. We tried multiple different glasses prescriptions with prism but the doubling fluctuated and was never consistent given the course of the condition. To alleviate this, we designed an occlusion pupil custom prosthetic contact lens for them which they wear to block vision in this eye. They now report their golf game is better than before and they can function once again!
This patient visited us from another state. They had a neurological condition that caused horizontal double vision. We took impressions of the ocular surface in order to create an EyePrintPRO scleral lens. This lens incorporated 4.5 Diopters of prism in each eye. This got rid of their double vision and they were able to see without glasses for the first time in years. For reading vision they wore readers over their contact lenses.