Double Vision Causes
Many different conditions can lead to double vision. It can occur in one or both of your eyes depending on the underlying cause.³ ⁴
Double vision affecting both eyes (binocular)
Binocular double vision can be a result of problems in the muscles, nerves or brain. It usually happens because your eyes aren’t working together. Causes can include: ⁵
- Strabismus: Crossed eyes due to problems with the eye muscles.
- Diabetes: a disease that causes high blood sugar that can damage the nerves potentially resulting in vision loss.
Other less common conditions that may cause double vision include nerve damage, cranial nerve issues, myasthenia gravis, graves’ disease or brain issues.
If you see one image as higher than the other, then this is called vertical diplopia. If the images repeat side by side, it is called horizontal diplopia.
Double vision affecting one eye (monocular)
Monocular double vision is often due to a physical problem in the affected eye. These can include:
- Keratoconus: when your cornea (the clear covering or your eye) gets thinner and changes shape.
- Astigmatism: where your cornea isn’t a perfect shape so it doesn’t focus properly.
- Cataracts: a common condition where a buildup of protein in your eye covers your lens (the opening of your eye that controls and focuses the light that enters your eye) blocking your vision.
- Dry Eyes: where the eyes don’t produce enough tears to lubricate the eyes.
- Pterygium: a rare, non-cancerous growth on the tissue that covers your eyelid and eyeball (conjunctiva).
- Ill-fitting glasses or contact lenses that distort your vision.
Double Vision Treatment
The treatment for your double vision will depend on the cause of your condition. The most common treatments involve correcting your vision with glasses or special lenses. You might also be given an eye patch as a temporary solution while you wait for other treatments to take effect. Eye exercises can be an effective treatment to help strengthen weak muscles. For some health conditions, medicines can help to treat or control the progress of the disease. Other conditions may need to be treated with surgery, for example pinched muscles, cataracts, or other underlying health conditions.
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