Double vision, also known as diplopia, is a condition which affects hundreds of thousands of people each year, and it can be triggered by a wide variety of causes. It is important to understand this condition so that you can learn how it can be prevented in the future and treated.
Diplopia, more well known as double vision, can be caused by a wide range of things, leading to around 850,000 visits to the doctor or emergency room each year by people suffering from it.
Double vision is what occurs when the brain is not properly processing and combining the visual input from each eye into a single, clear image. As a result of this dysfunction, you end up seeing the separate, sometimes overlapping images from each eye.
Diplopia can be either a short term issue or long lasting, and the severity of the double vision can vary as well.
There are a few types of double vision vision:
There are numerous potential causes of double vision, some more common than others.
Common causes include:
Convergence insufficiency is a relatively common vision issue in which the eyes have difficulty working together. Among other symptoms, it can cause double vision. However, the double vision caused by convergence insufficiency is generally only noticed while especially fatigued or stressed.
Strabismus is a condition which occurs when the eyes are not properly aligned, and one turns in a different direction. This results in the patient seeing two different images of the same object. Strabismus is the most common cause of double vision, and those with this condition are likely to experience it. However, it is not guaranteed. In those other cases, something called suppression occurs, where the brain actively shuts off the incorrectly turning eye to avoid double vision. If the strabismus is left untreated, the suppressed eye can suffer permanent vision loss.
Many other conditions can cause double vision by impacting the nerves or ocular muscles that control eye movement and are key to the brain-eye link.
Monocular double vision is far less common than binocular double vision, and it can be caused by:
Temporary double vision describes instances where one experiences double vision, but only for a short period, not regularly (unless the action which caused it is repeated.)
These causes include:
Double vision can be tough to diagnose, since it can be caused by a wide range of conditions, especially binocular double vision. However, a comprehensive eye exam conducted by a certified neuro-optometrist will likely detect the double vision and help determine the precise cause of it.
It is important to seek emergency medical attention if you experience any type of double vision, so you can rule out or at least detect potentially serious health problems which may be causing your double vision. Even if it appears to go away on its own, it is vital to see a doctor as soon as possible. In addition to possibly signifying a serious underlying problem, diplopia can worsen if left untreated.
Treatments can vary based on the main cause of the double vision, and the severity.
The treatment process for double vision by a neuro-optometrist begins with a comprehensive evaluation which will give our doctor a better idea what the root cause of your problem is, what type of diplopia you have This will tell our doctor which visual skills need to be worked on, to enable the formulation of a personalized neuro-optometric rehabilitation treatment plan aimed at correcting the problem and restoring your quality of life to a level as close as possible to what it was prior to the onset of diplopia.
Neuro-optometric rehabilitation therapy utilizes specialized therapeutic lenses, filters, patches, and prisms along with exercises, to help you regain lost visual skills or develop new ones to move you back toward long-lasting clear vision.
Double vision, or diplopia, is a vision problem which can be caused by a wide range of conditions. Due to this, it is important that if you experience double vision, even only briefly, you seek medical treatment immediately. Treatments such as neuro-optometric rehabilitation therapy are effective and available, but things become more complex and more difficult the longer you wait. If you have recently experienced double vision, or suffered a traumatic brain injury, you can reach out to your nearest Amplify EyeCare practice either via a call or in-person visit for a comprehensive vision evaluation. Our team of eye care professionals is ready and equipped to provide you with the care you need.