Diseases & Prevention

Double Vision: Causes, Symptoms and Treatments

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Double vision or diplopia is an eyesight problem where a person sees two images of an object. These images may be horizontaly,  vertically or diagonally aligned. This condition is monocular if it affects one eye. If both eyes are involved, the condition is termed as binocular double vision. Those experiencing double vision have trouble viewing objects clearly and suffer from a loss of balance.  It can have terrible effects on a person’s ability to function properly. Apart from double image viewing,  double vision often carries other symptoms.  These are:

Double Vision: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

  • Droopy eyes
  • Misaligned eyes
  • Crossed eyes
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Pain around the eyes
  • Weak eye muscles


Double vision can arise from a number of different factors including excessive alcohol consumption and fatigue. This kind of double vision is short termed and does not require serious medical attention. In some cases it can be an outcome of other diseases such as neurological disorders and problems in the interior structure of the eyes. This kind of double vision is long term and needs proper medical attention. Here are some possible causes of double vision.

1. Trauma
Double vision may crop up as an after effect of trauma meted out on face, eyes or head. This leads to damage to the nerves and muscles located around the eyes thereby causing double vision.

2. Corneal Abnormalities
Irregular shaped cornea interferes with vision. Keratoconus,  is a condition in which the cornea becomes thin and cone shaped and causes double vision.

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3. Vision Problems
Eye conditions like astigmatism, cataracts and macular degeneration also cause double vision. These problems prevent the light from reaching the eye properly resulting in double vision.

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4. Dry Eyes
The tear film on our eyes plays a role in promoting clear vision. If the production of tears and other fluids is halted, it can result in dry eyes.  Dry eyes can cause many vision problems including double vision.

5. Nerve Damage
Double vision also arises from conditions that affect the functioning of nerves that connect the eyes to the brain.  These include multiple sclerosis,  multiple myeloma,  Guillain Barre’s syndrome, Cranial Nerve Palsy, stroke,  aneurysm and brain tumour.

6. Weak Eye Muscles
Weakness in eye muscles that control our vision can result in double vision. There are many conditions that affect the health of these muscles like Myasthenia Gravis and Grave’s syndrome. Myasthenia Gravis is an auto immune disorder that hampers normal functioning of ocular muscles while Grave’s syndrome causes abnormalities in ocular muscles and other connective tissues surrounding the eyes and leads to double vision.

7. Diabetes
If you suffer from diabetes,  your chances of having double vision are starkly increased.  Uncontrolled diabetes leads to deterioration of nerves and muscles around the eyes and causes a number of visual abnormalities including double vision.

8. Strabismus
Also known as squint or crossed eyes,  strabismus that affects people during adulthood may cause double vision.  This condition is brought on by paralysed ocular muscles or insufficiencies in nerves that regulate the movement of ocular muscles.

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Treatment of double vision is based entirely on the type, symptoms and cause of the disorder. Taking into account all these factors your doctor may prescribe some tests including vision exams,  blood tests or MRI scan to get a clear idea of the actual cause of diplopia. Double vision caused by underlying diseases such as hyperthyroidism,  diabetes or neurological disorders is managed after receiving adequate treatment for the disease. Treatment of double vision caused by other conditions is done by adopting following methods.

Eye Exercises
Eye exercises are an important tool to overcome a wide range of vision problems.  Eye exercises help in strengthening ocular muscles and improve the ability to focus. Double vision caused by weak eye muscles can be fixed by eye exercises.

Special Glasses
Diplopia caused by visual disorders like astigmatism,  myopia and strabismus (crossed eyes) are corrected by wearing special glasses or lenses meant for these conditions. Eye glasses with prism are ideal for people suffering from strabismus.  They help in unifying the two images into one to enable the sufferers see clearly.

Eye Patch
Eye patches are prescribed to manage double vision in some patients.  These patches are made to cover one eye to prevent the second image from showing up in the visual field. These are best suited for binocular double vision.

Surgery is another option to treat double vision arising from corneal abnormalities,  cataracts, strabismus and neurological disorders.

About the Author
Harvey Lee is a health and beauty blogger and works with various industry leading health and beauty product brands e.g. EyeSoothe. Harvey strongly recommends seeking physician opinion before replacing medication with natural or other non-clinical remedies.

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About the author

Collins Nwokolo

Collins Nwokolo is a passionate blogger and an amazing writer. He is a health and fitness enthusiast who loves sharing helpful information to people.

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