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May 1940


Author Affiliations

From the Neurologic Service and Laboratories of the Mount Sinai Hospital.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1940;23(5):1046-1051. doi:10.1001/archopht.1940.00860131170010

Paralysis of divergence is a condition in which distant objects appear double. The diplopia, present with the eyes in the medial horizontal plane, does not increase when the test object is moved to either side. The double vision is homonymous and is less evident as the near point is approached.

The diplopia with paralysis of divergence is due to lack of divergence of the eyes which normally occurs when an object is viewed at a distance. This lack of divergence cannot be due to weakness of the external rectus muscles because there is no apparent impairment of their function. The most likely explanation of this disorder is that there is some disturbance of either the convergence or the divergence function. Exactly which of the mechanisms is involved is not yet clear. Since the two acts are antagonistic,1 some investigators believe that divergence is merely a relaxation of convergence. This