Unless you’re a member of Foreigner, double vision can be a frustrating, debilitating condition. If you’re seeing double, there could be several conditions to blame including nerve issues, chronic health conditions, or recent eye trauma. So, what causes double vision? Perhaps more importantly, how is it treated? Read on to find out more.
What Causes Double Vision?
What Is Double Vision?
First, we’ll address the exact definition of double vision. Also known as diplopia, double vision describes the phenomenon when you see two images of the same thing in front of you. For example, if you look at one book on your coffee table and see two identical books, you may be experiencing diplopia. You may have diplopia in one eye or both, depending on the cause and severity of your condition.
What Causes Single-Eye Diplopia?
As reported by Medical News Today, double vision typically affects both of eyes at the same time. However, it will occasionally only impact one eye, a condition called monocular diplopia. Monocular diplopia can be very disorienting, and there are several different likely causes:
- Dry Eye: People suffering from chronic dry eye, or dry eye syndrome, may experience a blurred or “phantom” image in one eye.
- Astigmatism: Astigmatism refers to an issue with the curve of your eye’s lens or cornea. That can lead to blurry vision or, in some cases, double vision in one eye.
- Keratoconus: The American Academy of Ophthalmology explains that keratoconus is a condition in which your cornea thins and bulges out. This condition can lead to discomfort, eye rubbing, and eye injury, and may cause double vision in just one eye.
What Causes Double Vision in Both Eyes?
As mentioned earlier, double vision in both eyes is the more common occurrence. There are also many more potential causes for double vision in both eyes, including chronic medical conditions as well as sudden eye trauma:
- Strabismus: Common in children, strabismus is a condition that causes the eyes to look in slightly different directions. Strabismus, also called a “squint,” can occur when certain eye muscles are paralyzed or weak, have restricted movement, or are overactive.
- Stroke: Most strokes occur due to an obstruction in the blood vessels. This can include the blood vessels supplying the nerves that control the eye muscles, which can, in turn, lead to double vision.
- Diabetes: Diabetes can also affect the blood vessels, including the vessels that supply the retina at the back of the eye. It can also affect certain nerves that control the eye, leading to double vision.
- Brain Tumors and Cancers: If you have a tumor or cancerous growth near your eye, it may damage the optic nerve. This can also cause double vision and other optic symptoms.
- Injury: An injury can cause blood and fluid to collect around the eye, restricting movement of the eye or its muscles. While double vision due to injury could be temporary, it is crucial to consult with a doctor after an injury to prevent future damage.
Treating Double Vision
Surgery, medication, and visual therapy are all options to treat diplopia. When you visit your doctor, they may run a series of blood tests, imaging tests like an MRI, and other standard examinations to determine the cause of your double vision. Before your visit, try to answer a few questions for yourself. First, when did the double vision start? Have you experienced any eye trauma lately? Is the sensation worse at certain times of day? Finally, do you experience double vision in one or both eyes? Carefully considering these questions will help your doctor treat your condition quickly and accurately.
So, what causes double vision? The causes vary greatly depending on whether you have diplopia in one eye or two. Fortunately, many cases of diplopia are treatable through medication, surgery, or other therapies.
If you still have questions about what causes double vision, contact Heffington’s if you live in southwest Missouri. Since 1975, the Heffington family has been assisting the Springfield community with top-quality eye care and affordable eyeglasses and contacts. One of the unique features of our family-owned business is that we manufacture lenses at our own laboratory, giving us total control over the service and pricing, and we’re happy to pass our savings on to you. To learn more about our products and services, please get in touch with us online, send an email to email@example.com, or give us a call at 417-869-3937 (Optiland location) or 417-882-3937 (House of Vision location). We look forward to hearing from you!