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Fixing Double Vision with Contact Lenses

Can you fix double vision with contact lenses?

Double vision can occur from a variety of factors. Double vision can be a result of irregularities in the visual system such as keratoconus, corneal transplants, corneal scarring, or a result of surgeries such as LASIK, PRK, radial keratotomy, or retinal surgeries. This kind of double vision can usually be fixed with specialty contact lenses such as rigid gas permeable (RGP), hybrid, or scleral lenses.

True "double vision" is when the eyes are misaligned and do not see images at the same place. When you have this type of doubling, covering one eye will make it go away. You may see either two images up and down (vertical double vision), side by side (horizontal double vision), or a combination of both. This type of double vision can be something you are born with, a result of a condition such as myasthenia gravis, multiple sclerosis, or hyperthyroidism, or the result of eye, head or neck surgeries.

Those with double vision are often put into glasses with something called a prism in the lenses. This prism is a way of bending light to put images where the eye actually is, instead of where it is supposed to be. This can bring two "double" images, together again.

Prism forces people with double vision to be reliant on their glasses in order to have single vision. Even if you have no prescription for glasses, you still must wear glasses with prism in order to see one image instead of two.

But many people do not want to wear glasses! Thankfully, there are contact lens options for those who need prism but do not want to wear glasses.

In order to have single vision, a contact lens works similarly to glasses where the prism is placed into the soft (or rigid) plastic of the contact lens material. This moves the image to where your eye needs in order to stop seeing double images.

There are limitations to the amount of prism, or amount of double vision, that can be fixed with soft, or rigid contact lenses. With soft contact lenses, only vertical double vision is able to be fixed, up to a certain amount. This is because with the way the soft contact lens plastic moves on the eye, the weight of the prism has to be in a downward position, making vertical (up and down) double vision the only thing able to be corrected. If the prism is too much, or too heavy, the plastic falls down.

If you have horizontal (side by side) double vision, you may correct this with a lens called a scleral lens. This lens is very stable on the eye and allows for extra material (aka weight) to be placed in ANY direction. This can correct both horizontal and vertical double vision. There are limitations to the amount that can be corrected in this lens as well but it can be more, and in more directions, than a soft contact lens.

The best way to find out if you are a candidate for prism contact lenses is to schedule a specialty contact lens consultation where you will go over all underlying conditions, visual complaints, and take prismatic values. We also take measurements and fit you in-office with sizing for specialty contact lenses, if applicable.

If you are from out-of-state or out-of-country, in some cases, the Doctor can design you prism contact lenses from afar and ship them for fitting and medical care to your local Doctor. This would require an initial online consultation, where we would review your medical records and discuss all options with you, making a plan to move forward whether or not you are able to travel to Scottsdale or not.

We are passionate about designing lenses to help our patients with double vision get their lives back! Please contact us for more information either via phone (480) 420-4243 or email: Or if you are ready to book a consultation (online or in-person), you can do so online here.


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