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Can Parkinson’s Cause Double Vision

Getting To The Root Of The Problem Is The Key To Treating And Referring Properly Heres A Look At The Common Etiologies Of Diplopia And How To Tell Them Apart


A patient presenting with diplopia—whether horizontal, vertical or diagonal—is often a clinical challenge.1 Constant diplopia with acute onset will have different differentials than intermittent diplopia, for example.2,3 While the cause can be benign, some cases, such as those accompanied by new headache, ocular pain, unilateral pupil dilation, muscle weakness, ptosis, trauma or papilledema, raise red flags for immediate referral.4,5 Most etiologies will fall into one of five categories: refractive, binocular vision disorder, orbital disease, neuromuscular junction dysfunction, or injury to the central nervous system/cranial nerves .6 A systematic approach to the differentials is key to identifying and treating benign causes—and promptly referring patients when it is vision or life threatening.

CN VI palsy, seen here in the right eye, accounts for 50% of all isolated CN palsies.

Eyekrafters Medical Optics Eye Clinic And Parkinsons And Vision Problems In South Plainfield New Jersey

Many eye diseases can be quickly and easily diagnosed during a comprehensive eye exam. If you were diagnosed with an eye disease, such as Cataracts, Glaucoma, Macular degeneration, Diabetic retinopathy, or Dry eye, you may be overwhelmed by the diagnosis and confused about what happens next. Will you need medications or surgery – now or in the future? Our South Plainfield eye doctor has prepared the following answers to your questions about eye disease.

Ocular And Visual Disorders In Parkinsons Disease: Common But Frequently Overlooked

This literature search covering 50 years reviews the range of ocular and visual disorders in patients with PD and classifies these according to anatomical structures of the visual pathway.  It discusses six common disorders in more detail, reviews the effects of PD-related pharmacological and surgical treatments on visual function, and offers practical recommendations for clinical management.

Patients With Parkinson Disease At Increased Risk Of Vision Eye Issues Study Shows Matthew Gavidia

Patients with Parkinson disease were found to be more likely to experience vision and eye issues, such as blurry vision, dry eyes, trouble with depth perception, and problems adjusting to rapid changes in light, compared with people without the disorder, according to study findings.

Patients with Parkinson disease were found to be more likely to experience vision and eye issues, such as blurry vision, dry eyes, trouble with depth perception, and problems adjusting to rapid changes in light, compared with people without the disorder, according to study findings published in Neurology.

In patients with PD , irregular eyesight can prove a chief issue, as ophthalmologic disorders combined with postural and gait instability from the disorder may increase the risk of falls and fall-related injuries, noted the study authors.

Risk of vision impairment is potentially common for PwP because PD is linked with retinal dopamine depletion and decreased dopaminergic innervation of the visual cortex, which can lead to visual problems such as diminished oculomotor control, contrast sensitivity, color vision, and visuospatial construction. PwP are also at increased risk for seborrheic blepharitis and keratoconjunctivitis sicca .

In PwP with ophthalmologic symptoms, 68% reported that it interfered with daily activities, compared with 35% of controls .


What Are The Causes Of Parkinsons Disease And Progressive Supranuclear Palsy

Parkinson’s disease: Experiencing dry eyes, eyelid apraxia ...

Both conditions are caused by damage to a specific area of the brain called the Substantia Nigra. As a result both conditions have similar symptoms.

Parkinson’s disease is caused by a loss of cells in a specific region of the brainstem deep within the brain. This leads to a reduction in a chemical called dopamine which is responsible for sending messages to the body to help control movements.

PSP occurs when cells in an area of the brain called the brainstem are damaged as a result of a build-up of a protein called Tau. Tau occurs naturally in the brain and is usually broken down before it reaches high levels. In people with PSP it is not broken down properly which prevents information passing between nerve cells.

Difficulty Moving The Eyes Or Difficulty In Focusing On Moving Objects

Difficulties moving the eyes up and down are more common in a condition called Progressive Supranuclear Palsy , a form of parkinsonism. If you experience this problem, your specialist or Parkinson’s nurse if you have one, will be able to give advice.

Caution! If detecting or seeing movement is difficult, particularly estimating the speed of a moving object such as a car, great care should be taken when out and about, both when driving and walking.

Vision Problems More Common In Patients With Parkinson Disease

This article, “Vision Problems May Be Common in Parkinson Disease,” was originally published on NeurologyLive.

Results of a new study have uncovered a link between the development of Parkinson disease and an increase in ophthalmologic symptoms that impact a patient’s day-to-day activities.

The study, which included 848 patients with Parkinson and 250 healthy controls, showed that 82% of those with disease had ?1 ophthalmologic symptom in comparison with 48% of the control group . Study author Carlijn D.J.M. Borm, MD, of Radboud University Medical Centre in Nijmegen, The Netherlands, and colleagues noted that screening questionnaires like the Visual Impairment in Parkinson’s Disease Questionnaire —which the study utilized—may aid in recognizing these vision problems, thus improving timely treatment.

“It is especially important for people with Parkinson’s to have the best vision possible because it can help compensate for movement problems caused by the disease, and help reduce the risk of falls,” Borm said in a statement. “Our study found not only that people with Parkinson’s disease had eye problems that go beyond the aging process, we also found those problems may interfere with their daily lives. Yet a majority of eye problems are treatable, so it’s important that people with Parkinson’s be screened and treated if possible.”

What Is Parkinsons Disease And Progressive Supranuclear Palsy

Parkinson’s disease and Progressive Supranuclear Palsy are similar conditions in which there is a premature deterioration of nerve cells in the midbrain. Onset of both diseases is in late middle age with men more likely to be affected by both conditions. PSP occurs less frequently than Parkinson’s disease.

Is Double Vision Due To A Problem In The Eye Or In The Brain

Parkinson’s disease symptoms: Signs in the eyes

The key to understanding whether double vision is due to a problem in the eye or in the brain is to see what happens when one eye is closed. If there is double vision when looking with the right or left eye alone, then the cause is ophthalmological—such as a cataract, a problem of the retina, or another eye disease.

On the other hand, when double vision is present with both eyes open, but goes away upon looking with only one eye, the cause may be neurological. This type of double vision occurs because of abnormal eye movements that cause the eyes to become misaligned.

When the eyes are not aligned properly, one eye sees an image in one location, while the other eye sees the same image in another location. Understandably, the brain becomes confused and sees two images instead of one. When one eye is closed, the double vision immediately goes away, because the brain receives information from just one eye.

Colour Vision Contrast Sensitivity And Low Light Conditions

A lack of dopamine-producing cells in the retina can cause problems with colour vision and contrast sensitivity. This means that it may be hard to distinguish between shades of the same colour, particularly blues and blue/greens. Some people also have difficulty defining images on a background of similar shades or colours and reading fine print, particularly in low light levels.

Levodopa and other Parkinson’s medications may help with these problems. Your doctor will be able to advise you on this.

How Will My Doctor Understand The Cause Of My Double Vision

After checking the vision in each eye, the doctor will carefully examine the movements of each eye. The doctor will also use different methods to measure the alignment of the two eyes in different positions. The results of these tests will allow an understanding of whether the problem is caused by the eye muscles, the nerves that connects to the muscles, or parts of the brain that control eye movements.

Harry Styles’ Mum On Her Father Having Parkinson’s Disease

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Parkinson’s disease is a progressive condition whereby the signals communicated between the brain and nervous system are disrupted. This causes a number of impairments, many of which relate to movement. The symptoms are often subtle at first but become quite pronounced as the condition advances. When this occurs, the eyes may be affected in a number of ways.

Vision: More Than Meets The Eye Tricks To Aid Pd Patients

Parkinson’s disease: Colour vision, dry eyes and double ...

Retired neurologist and young onset Parkinson’s patient, Dr. Maria De León reminds us that vision is integral to our quality of life and safety, especially with respect to driving.  She lists 11 common eye problems with PD, and a few uncommon ones.  They may be helped by adjusting medications, with special lenses, or artificial tears.  See your doctor to find out.

Double Vision Is Common In Parkinsons Large Study Finds

Double vision is common in people with Parkinson’s — affecting up to an estimated 30% of patients — and is linked to both motor and non?motor disease symptoms, a new large-scale, longitudinal study has found.

Parkinson’s patients with double vision were more likely to be older, non-white, female, have had the disease for a longer time, and experience greater motor, non?motor, and daily activity limitations.

The positive news for patients is that the condition is easily treatable, researchers noted.

The study, “Prevalence and risk factors for double vision in Parkinson disease,” was published in the journal Movement Disorders Clinical Practice.

Visual impairment is reported by some Parkinson’s patients, with one of the most common complaints being double vision. However, the investigators noted that clinical study groups are “prone to under-ascertainment, as neurologists may not be comfortable addressing visual symptoms, and patients frequently do not disclose non-motor symptoms such as double vision unless specifically asked.”

Thus, the condition’s prevalence and risk factors remain unknown.

To fill this knowledge gap, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania examined the prevalence and risk factors for double vision in a large-scale electronic survey conducted between March 2015 and June 2020.

“ patients should be screened for visual symptoms in addition to other non-motor symptoms,” the researchers concluded.

Ocular Motor And Sensory Function In Parkinson Disease

The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the effect of dopaminergic medication and deep brain stimulation on ocular function in Parkinson Disease and to measure vision-elated quality of life in subjects with PD.  The conclusion is that convergence ability is significantly poorer in PD subjects in both “on” and “off” states compared with controls, but significantly improves with systemic dopaminergic treatment.  Ocular motor function in PD subjects fluctuates in response to treatment, which complicates ophthalmic management.  PD subjects have a significant reduction in vision-related quality of life, especially near activities, that it not associated with visual acuity.

Parkinsons Disease And Progressive Supranuclear Palsy

Patient Leaflets Team

  • Reference Number: HEY1159/2020
  • Departments: Ophthalmology Department, Orthoptic

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Potential Effects Of Parkinsons Disease On Eyesight

Parkinson’s disease: Feeling this sensation in your eyes ...

Growing older often means a greater risk of experiencing certain vision problems, such as cataracts and age-related retina damage . Typically, these changes have nothing to do with Parkinson’s disease and can affect any older adult. However, there are some vision issues specifically related to this condition. Five of the more common ones are discussed below.

New Insights Into Vision Problems In Parkinson’s

Damian McNamara

March 12, 2020

Visual problems are significantly more common in patients with Parkinson disease and adversely affect quality of life by interfering with normal daily activities, new research suggests.

In a study with more than 1000 participants, more than 82% of the patients with PD had at least one ophthalmologic symptom, in comparison with 48% of matched control persons who did not have the disease. Symptoms included double vision, blurriness, and watery eyes.

In addition, 52% of respondents with PD reported that their eye symptoms restricted reading; 33% reported that their symptoms had a negative effect on driving; and 28% experienced more difficulty watching television or working on a computer.

“Our findings emphasize a great need for a much better awareness of the debilitating ocular disorders that are commonly present in patients with Parkinson’s disease. This greater awareness is needed for physicians, patients, and caregivers,” lead author Carlijn D. J. M. Borm, a neurology resident at the Center for Expertise for Parkinson and Movement Disorders, Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen, the Netherlands, told Medscape Medical News.

The results “add new knowledge about the prevalence of a wide range of ocular symptoms and, importantly, on the effect of these symptoms on daily life functioning,” she noted.

The findings were March 11 in Neurology.

What Causes Double Vision In Myasthenia Gravis

Myasthenia gravis causes your body to mistakenly attack the links between nerves and muscles. This affects the tiny muscles that work in sync to keep your eyes properly aligned. As the muscles weaken, your eyes tend to get out of alignment. This leads to double vision or seeing two images when you look at an object. Myasthenia gravis may also cause your eyelids to droop, which can block your vision. You might also be bothered by bright light.

If you have double vision and other visual symptoms caused by myasthenia gravis, you may notice that they get better or worse from day to day. You might be more likely to see double images later in the evening or after you’ve been reading or using your eyes intensely for a long period.

Double vision and other sight problems are the first symptoms for about half of people who get myasthenia gravis. Roughly 85% of them will also have muscle weakness in other body parts. This is known as generalized myasthenia gravis. The rest will only have visual symptoms, a condition called ocular myasthenia gravis. Men appear to be more likely than women to develop ocular myasthenia gravis.

Ophthalmologic Features Of Parkinsons Disease

This paper is a systematic evaluation of the ocular complaints and ocular finding of 30 PD patients with early untreated PD, and 31 control subjects without neurologic or known ocular diseases.  The ocular abnormalities found more commonly encountered by PD patients frequently respond to treatment.  Abstract and access to the full article.

Reduced Blinking & Eye Movement Disturbances

Parkinson’s disease symptoms: Eye problems

Other eye movement disturbances have been described in parkinsonism. These include an impaired ability to pursue a moving target with the eyes, difficulty initiating gaze shifts or taking the eyes off a face. Also, the ability to maintain eccentric gaze is impaired, and the blink frequency tends to be reduced. Of these abnormalities, only the latter tends to show significant symptoms, as reduced blinking can cause a feeling of dry eyes. This may be further enhanced by reduction in tear secretion, which is not uncommon in parkinsonism. Management of dry eyes usually involves the use of artificial tears. It is rare that additional measures are needed to combat symptoms of dry eyes in patients with parkinsonism.

Patients with parkinsonism are also susceptible to visual hallucinations. These can be related to the underlying neurological illness or medications used for treatment. PD patients who have visual hallucinations respond well to antipsychotic medications such as quetiapine. Hallucinations should always be reported to the physician.

Results Of A Visual Impairment Questionnaire

Coping With Vision Problems From Parkinson’s

There is currently no cure for the disease itself, but there are options to treat the symptoms of PD. A combination of medications, physical and/or occupational therapy, support groups, and of course, top-quality vision care can give a PD patient relief for some of their symptoms and tools to help cope with the condition.

Research and clinical trials are continuing as doctors and others in the medical community work towards the goal of finding a cure for PD.

No two patients are alike, and each can experience PD differently from the other, so finding what works for you or your loved one is key. During this Parkinson’s Awareness Month, share your #KeyToPD and give your loved ones hope for a healthy and high quality of life.

Double Vision Caused By Eye Muscle Problems

Six muscles in your eye socket control your eye’s movement up, down, to each side and in rotation. Problems in these extraocular muscles include weakness or paralysis that prevent one eye from moving in coordination with the other. Eye muscle problems include:

  • Graves’ disease, a thyroid condition that affects eye muscles and causes vertical double vision, in which one image appears above the other
  • Strabismus , a weakened or paralyzed eye muscle that prevents the eyes from aligning properly

What Treatments Are There For Double Vision

Parkinson’s disease symptoms: Dry eyes, blurred vision and ...

After the causes of double vision are understood, your doctor might be able to predict approximately how long the double vision may last. Some cases recover on their own, whereas in other cases, the double vision can persist.

Based on this information, the doctor will try to offer treatments to lessen the double vision. One approach is to block vision from one eye. This can be done either by using an eye patch or by using scotch tape to cover one lens of the eyeglasses. Depending on the exact pattern of the abnormal eye movements, temporary prisms can sometimes be tried to reduce the double vision. If these are very effective, permanent prisms can be ground into the lenses of the eyeglasses. Finally, if double vision has become a permanent problem , surgery can be performed to adjust the position of the eye muscles.

Problems With Low Light And Pbright Light :

You might find that it is difficult to see in low light levels. You may also be unable to make out the shape of things clearly, such as a light-coloured object on a light background. This can also affect your ability to read small print. The use of daylight bulbs may provide better lighting. If bright light is a problem, wraparound sunglasses or tinted lenses can help. 

Double Vision And Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Chronic fatigue syndrome is a medical condition characterized by the occurrence of tiredness or fatigue for an extended period of time, from which respite is not obtained even with resting. Although the precise cause of the condition is not known with clarity, some researches attribute the same to viral infections caused by Epstein-Barr virus or human herpes virus-6 .

The medical fraternity for a long term has refuted any correlation between the medical condition of chronic fatigue syndrome and visual or ocular disturbances. However, detailed investigation on patients suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome demonstrates an adverse implication of the condition on the ocular system as well. A study was conducted to examine this correlation taking 141 subjects, all patients of chronic fatigue syndrome. The results highlighted that the majority of the subjects had several complains associated with visual or ocular problems. However, there were some patients who did not rate these visual problems important enough to be stated or still others who did not seem to be too affected by them in their daily routine.

The symptoms of visual disturbances are experienced by most patients of chronic fatigue syndrome, although the intensity may vary amongst different individuals. Such patients project sensory intolerance that gives even sensory events occurring in the backdrop, the potential to distract their concentration. 

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Involuntary Eye Closure & Eyelid Drooping

It’s not uncommon for seniors with Parkinson’s disease to experience involuntary eye closure . Eyelids may also droop due to muscle weakness or nerve damage caused by the disease. Both of these issues can narrow the field of vision and contribute to difficulty with navigation and coordination. Vision problems of this nature also increase the risk of falling for seniors with PD. Under certain circumstances, Botox injections may be recommended to address issues with eyelid drooping.

If your loved one is living with vision problems and needs assistance with daily tasks, help is available. Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home caregivers who provide high-quality elderly home care.Trust Home Care Assistance to help your elderly loved one age in place safely and comfortably.

Ask The Md: Vision And Parkinsons Disease

Parkinson’s disease symptoms: Three signs in the eyes that ...

This webpage explains the visual problems that are due to Parkinson’s disease, the medications used to treat it, or to unrelated conditions of the eye or eyelid.  If you have visual problems, don’t assume it is due to either aging or Parkinson’s.  Address it with your doctor to maintain your ability to read, drive, and walk steadily to reduce your risk of falling.

My Parkinson’s Story: Visual Disturbances

This 6-minute video alternates between an interview with a man and and doctors. The man shares his vision changes due to Parkinson’s disease. The doctors explain that the muscles of the eyes develop a tremor in those with Parkinson’s disease, causing blurry vision. Parkinson’s medication reduces eye tremors by 75-90%, but eye exercises and reading are also beneficial.

How Does Parkinson’s Cause Vision Issues

Parkinson’s is characterized by a loss of dopamine producing cells in the substantia nigra portion of the brain. The reduction of dopamine can affect the visual cortex. So Parkinson’s can impair mobility of the eyes just like the limbs. There are several kinds of visual disturbances that may be experienced by people with Parkinson’s. Many who experience changes in vision or eye mechanics seek out a consultation from a neuro-opthalmologist, someone who specializes in visual problems associated with neurological disease.2

Ways Parkinsons Disease Affects The Eyes Russ Beach

According to the , Parkinson’s Disease “is a progressive nervous system disorder that affects movement. Symptoms start gradually, sometimes starting with a barely noticeable tremor in just one hand. Tremors are common, but the disorder also commonly causes stiffness or slowing of movement.”   There many other prevalent symptoms and complications of Parkinson’s and the eyes are no exception.


Diplopia is the medical term given to double vision.  Unfortunately, it can be a common occurrence in patients with Parkinson’s Disease.  It may occur in up to 30% of PD patients. The exact mechanism for the cause of the double vision in not fully understood.   The double vision may occur in straight-ahead gaze or in a particular direction of gaze . Another very common source of double vision in PD is “convergence insufficiency,” which is when the eyes are unable to converge normally for up close visual activities like reading. This would produce double vision when only reading.

Double vision may be helped with PD medications if the person is not actively being treated. Interestingly, some PD medications themselves may cause double vision.  If the double vision is consistent, the optometrist may be able to prescribe prism in the patients glasses to help compensate for the misalignment causing the double vision.   If the double vision is due to convergence insufficiency, a separate pair of reading glasses with prism compensation may be best.

Dry Eyes


Blurred Vision And Difficulty Focussing

Parkinson’s disease symptoms: Eye problems

Some Parkinson’s medications, in particular anticholinergics, can cause blurred vision and difficulty focussing. You may find your vision is blurred if you start taking anticholinergics and that this goes away when your body gets used to the new drug. This can also happen if you have been taking anticholinergics for some time but your dose is altered. If necessary your doctor may adjust your medication regime.

Talk with your doctor if blurred vision does not improve – or worsens – over time, so that your medication can be adjusted if necessary. If you wear reading glasses, a slight adjustment may also help. Your optician or optometrist should be able to help with this. 

Schedule An Appointment With Ocvt Today

If you’re experiencing persistent double vision or you’ve suffered a head or brain injury, we encourage you to schedule an exam with one of our developmental optometrists. Fill out our contact form or schedule a consultation with us here. We look forward to addressing your vision questions and concerns so you can see more clearly and confidently.

Double Vision Caused By Cornea Problems

The cornea is the clear layer that covers the front of the eye. Its main function is to focus incoming light into the eye. Problems in the cornea distort its surface, which can create double vision. Such problems include:

  • Astigmatism
  • Infections such as shingles or herpes zoster
  • Scars caused by disease, injury or infection

Can There Be Any Complications Or Risks

Risks from Parkinson’s disease and PSP may arise from your symptoms. If you are affected by any of the above symptoms, you may need to make adjustments to cope better. Symptoms may vary between patients so it may help to tell the Eye Care Team if you are having problems so they are able to suggest personalised solutions.

Having double vision can be very disorientating and can increase the risk of trips and falls so make use of handrails where possible. Some people may find benefit in a walking stick.

It is important to keep your eyes well lubricated to keep them healthy. If you are suffering from dry eyes, please ensure you follow your Ophthalmologist’s instructions with regards to eye drops.

Double Vision Caused By Nerve Problems

4 Ways Parkinson

Certain cranial nerves connect the brain to the eye muscles to control eye movement. Some conditions that can affect or damage these cranial nerves and lead to double vision include:

  • Diabetes, a metabolic disease affecting your body’s ability to process blood sugar that can cause nerve damage
  • Guillain-Barre syndrome, a nerve condition in which early symptoms can occur in the eyes, causing muscle weakness
  • Myasthenia gravis, an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks neuromuscular junctions involved in eye movement
  • Multiple sclerosis, a chronic neurological disease affecting the central nervous system, possibly damaging nerves that control eye movement

What Are The Symptoms Of Double Vision

Patients typically easily identify double vision. In some cases the two images are completely separate, and in other cases they are overlapping. Double vision might occur in specific circumstances . In some cases the double vision may fluctuate throughout the day, being most prominent during periods of fatigue. Patients with some forms of double vision may find themselves closing one eye to improve their vision.

Double Vision Caused By Lens Problems

Your eye’s lens works with the cornea to focus incoming light onto the retina . The lens is behind the pupil and changes shape as it focuses.

The most common lens problem that can cause double vision is a cataract, a clouding of the normally clear lens due to aging. Our eye surgeons can remove cataracts in an outpatient surgery. Learn more about cataract surgery.

Visual Changes In Parkinsons Disease

Parkinson’s disease is a chronic disease that affects the nervous system. It causes a variety of symptoms that often progress over time. It can also lead to some changes in the eyes. April is Parkinson’s Awareness Month. It is an opportunity to learn more about this disorder and how eye problems can be managed. 

Double Vision And Parkinson Disease

Parkinson’s disease: Feeling this sensation in your eyes ...

A vision defect could be one of the defects of Parkinson’s disease but it is not as bad as the other symptoms that one can experience with this kind of disease. However, when you do have vision defects and the disease together, it cannot be corrected easily. Some of the vision problems are caused due to the medications taken when a person is dealing with the primary symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. For some patients, the vision problems easily get treated; and so it basically varies from person to person.

When it comes to the treatment, doctors do not encourage any kind of surgery for Parkinson’s patients, and also the glasses from the pharmacies are totally discouraged. The condition of double vision when having the disease is a mentally related condition rather than physical condition. The person is not able to read the signals mentally whereas the eye by itself is healthy. That is why glasses do not help with this disease. The somatosensory part of the brain deals with the visual functions. As a part of a research on Parkinson’s, when a team focused on the somatosensory part of the brain, they found it to be perfectly healthy. Also, there is a deep relation between the visual cortex and the sense of touch.

However, double vision in such people can be problematic and it has to be cured through physical therapy only. There are several exercises which are known to benefit the person if they are done consistently.

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