- By: Dr. Rajesh Garg
What is Diplopia (Double Vision)?
Double Vision (Diplopia), much like the name suggests, is when you see double or two images instead of one.
There are two types of double vision - Monocular and Binocular. Monocular double vision affects one eye and Binocular double vision affects both your eyes. At times, double vision can be temporary.
Diplopia is known to have an adverse effect on your reading ability, movement and balance.
What Causes Double Vision?
Our eyes create individual images of our environment. These two images are then merged together by our brain and is perceived as a singular clear image.
We begin to see double images when the muscles that move our eyes are damaged. Particular illnesses are capable of weakening these muscles and causing double images.
Gives below are causes of monocular, binocular and temporary double vision -
Causes: Monocular Double Vision
1. Astigmatism - If the shape or curve of your eye is misaligned, it can blur your vision and cause double vision.
2. Cataracts - A cataract clouds the lens of your eyes, disrupting vision and can lead to double vision.
3. Retinal Abnormalities - If you have retinal abnormalities, the center of your vision degenerates slowly. Sometimes, there is swelling and this can cause double vision.
4. Keratoconus - With keratoconus the clear lining that is placed over the cornea becomes thin as it grows and develops a cone-shaped bulge, which can cause double vision among other issues.
5. Dry Eyes - When your eyes do not produce lubricating fluids, you may feel a sting or itchy in your eyes and this could further lead to double vision or other vision problems.
Causes: Binocular Double Vision
1. Strabismus/Squint - When the muscles of your eyes do not coordinate well, it leads to different problems and has the potential of causing permanent vision loss. Strabismus is one of the most common causes of double vision in children.
2. Diabetes - Having diabetes can damage your nerves and could lead to double vision.
3. Myasthenia Gravis - This is an immune condition that disrupts communication between the nerves and muscles in your body. With Myasthenia Gravis can tire your eyes rapidly, makes your eye muscles weak and leads to double vision.
4. Cranial Nerve Palsy - The cranial nerves that run along the surface of your brain sometimes become paralyzed. When they do reach this state, it leads to double vision or other vision problems.
5. Graves’ Disease - When your thyroid is overly active it leads to this immune system disorder. And about 30% of the population with Graves’ disease may experience some type of vision problem like double vision.
Causes: Temporary Double Vision
1. Alcohol Intoxication
3. Certain Medications for Seizures and Epilepsy
5. Head Injuries like Concussions
6. Tired/Strained Eyes
Diagnosing Double Vision
When you visit the doctor for a diagnosis of double vision, the doctor will note down your symptoms and conduct some tests to help determine whether it is double vision or some other vision problem.
You must give the doctor a detailed list of all the symptoms you’ve been experiencing. Along with this, you will also be asked for your medical history and family medical history. If you have some kind of illness or someone from your family has had vision problems or disorders that lead to double vision, it is always good for the doctor to know.
Another important part of the diagnosis is the various examinations conducted to help identify the problem. The tests include -
1. Vision Check & Detailed Eye Exam
2. Imaging Tests (CT Scan/MRI)
3. Blood Tests
4. Toxicity Tests
5. Eye Movement Tests
6. Blood Sugar Readings
Some Treatments & Home Remedies
Your doctor will decide on the kind of treatment that is best suited for you. Here are some treatments and home remedies used to treat Diplopia.
1. Eye Patch/Cover - Wearing an eye patch or eye cover may not provide a long-term solution, but it will help take care of the double vision till a more permanent solution arrives.
2. Surgery - Depending on what is causing the double vision, you may require surgery to correct any physical issues. The ones who have cataracts or any other problem within the eye may need surgery, whic