Double Vision: The Causes And How It Can Be Treated
Double vision is a condition that occurs when an individual begins to see a double image when there is only one object. The images tend to be seen either side-by-side, on top of each other, or sometimes, diagonally. People with double vision often have their balance, movements, and ability to read adversely affected.
Those with binocular double vision only see double when both eyes are open. If they close one eye, they are able to see single objects clearly – since each eye perceives images slightly differently. Conversely, those affected by the double vision in just one eye have monocular double vision.
While double vision may seem concerning, it is usually treatable. The treatment in question differs based on the cause and type. This article details what factors may lead to double vision occurring in a person and how they may treat it.
Causes of One-eye double vision
The cornea refers to the transparent covering that protects the front of the eye. Its primary purpose is to focus the incoming light into the eye. Double vision may result from the cornea's surface being distorted by issues in the cornea. Examples include:
- Dry eyes
- Infections such as shingles
- Extremely high Astigmatism (>-3.00Ds)
- Scars on the cornea
Crystalline Lens issues
Incoming light is focused onto the retina by your eye's lens and cornea.
- Cataracts – the clouding of the lens that occurs due to ageing and can be removed via cataracts surgery
Causes of binocular double vision
Eye muscle issues
The six muscles in the eye socket control your eye's up, down, side, and rotational movement. Symptoms of extraocular muscle issues comprise weakness or paralysis that prevents one eye from moving in unison with the other. Examples include:
- Misaligned eyes – eyes prevented from aligning due to weak or paralysed eye muscles
- Grave's disease – thyroid complications
The brain receives visual data from the eyes via nerves. Double vision could arise from an illness or injury to these locations. Examples of such illness includes:
- Brain tumour
- Brain aneurysm
- Pressure inside the head caused by trauma, bleeding, or infection
Specific cranial nerves link the brain to muscles in the eyes. These muscles control eye movement. There are conditions one can contract that compromise this ability and can lead to double vision. Examples include:
- Guillain-Barre syndrome – a nerve condition
- Multiple sclerosis – a chronic neurological disease
- Myasthenia gravis – an autoimmune disease
Treatment for One-eye double vision
Treatments given depend on what the cause of your monocular double vision is.
Astigmatism can be treated with corrected eyeglasses or lenses that compensate for the curvature and provide corrected passage of the light into your eyes.
For those with dry eyes, your eyes are not providing sufficient tears and dry out too rapidly, leading to them becoming sore and swollen. This often results in double vision. Eye drops work very well at treating this.
Treatment for binocular double vision
Treatments given depend on what the cause of your binocular double vision is. Options include:
- Wearing spectacles with prism induced
- Having surgery done to fix the positioning of your eyes muscles
- Doing eye exercises
Double vision is a multi-factorial eye condition. It may last only a short while but could also potentially last a lifetime. The aetiology of double vision affects how it is treated. After carefully assessing the patient's condition, an optometrist can suggest the best action after an eye check-up.
For double vision eyeglasses or consultation on various other eye conditions, visit The Eyes Inc., a specialized optical shop for double vision. Contact us to learn more.