Double vision is a condition wherein you see two images of the same object. It could develop in both eyes or in one. Diplopia in both the eyes is termed binocular diplopia, while, that in one eye is monocular diplopia.
Double vision or diplopia could be a symptom of serious illness, such as a blood clot, tumor mass, trauma or may be a sign of eye fatigue or an inappropriate eye glass prescription.
What Are The Causes Of Double Vision?
Here’s a list of the probable causes for a diplopia:
- It usually is a symptom of an eye condition called strabismus. The eyes are misaligned and may turn outward, inward, upward or downward. An early recognition and management of the disorder is vital since neglect of an eye can cause a lack of development of the visual acuity. Strabismus is a very common cause in children. This may be congenital or because of an impairment in the ocular muscles.
- Astigmatism, dry eye (insufficient tears being produced), some types of retinal problems or cataracts are important causes too.
- Serious conditions that cause double vision are displacement of the lens and retinal detachment.
- Certain diseases trigger double vision, these are – thyroid irregularities, multiple sclerosis, stroke, meningitis, aneurysm (an artery of the brain may bulge) and myasthenia gravis. Reduced flow of blood due to hypertension or uncontrolled diabetes, impair cranial nerves which causes diplopia.
- The Guillain-Barre syndrome afflicts the eyes, causing diplopia.
- A blood clot behind the eye obstructs normal eye movement.
- An infection of the cornea like shingles or herpes zoster alters the corneal surface and this distorts the direction of the light rays as they travel towards the retina. This results in diplopia.
- Cataracts and dislocated lenses are common causes too. Cataract is age related, while, a dislocated lens occurs because of the breaking of ligaments which hold the lens.
Sudden Onset Of Double Vision
A sudden onset of diplopia indicates a serious medical condition. Common etiological factors for sudden diplopia are – trauma to the head, stroke, brain tumor, aneurysm or brain swelling. Ocular migraines are also known to trigger double vision.
Ocular migraines occur because of alterations in the flow of blood in the brain. An accurate diagnosis is very vital in cases of a sudden onset of double vision.
Treatment Options To Correct Double Vision
Managing double vision needs a multidisciplinary approach; timely diagnosis and prompt treatment are crucial.
- Wearing glasses to treat double vision is a corrective measure. When prescribed glasses, you may have to wear them all the time. Press-on prisms may be required to apply to the eyeglass lenses. This assists your eyes to focus and correct the double vision. You need to have periodic eye examinations to understand whether the diplopia is ameliorating or aggravating. Accordingly the glasses need to be adjusted to deal with the changes.
- Eye exercise therapy plays a pivotal role too. The exercises are very simple and are done at the doctor’s office as well as at home.
- Eye muscle surgery is usually the last resort. On the other hand, if it is done to enhance appearance, it could be the first choice. Surgery aligns the eyes so that they work together.
- Integrating all or some of these therapies proffers immense benefits.