Written by Dr. Rashida Shabbir Tankiwala , Diplomate of National Board (DNB) | 
Medically Reviewed by Dr. Sunil Shroff, MBBS, MS, FRCS (UK), D. Urol (Lond) on Apr 18, 2016

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Double vision, a condition where two images are formed of an object instead of one, is a troublesome disorder that could interfere with daily activities.

Double vision or diplopia is a visual disorder that results in two images of a single object rather than one. Most common cause of diplopia is a new or recent onset squint.

Double Vision

Diplopia is of two types. Double vision when both eyes are open is called ‘binocular diplopia’ and double vision with one eye closed is ‘uniocular diplopia’. Causes of double vision differ in each.

Cataract is the most common cause of double vision. Other causes being diabetes, myasthenia gravis, thyroid eye disease, multiple sclerosis, raised pressure in the brain, brain tumors, migraine, aneurysms and strokes.

Diplopia is a very troublesome visual disorder. Ability to read, walk and perform common activities is disrupted due to double vision. Depending on the cause, other symptoms like squint, pain around the eye, headache, nausea and droopy eyelids may be present along with double vision.

Diplopia of recent onset requires immediate medical attention as it could be a sign of a potentially serious condition. Blood tests and imaging like CT or MRI are frequently used for diagnosis.

Double vision can be eliminated by identifying and treating its cause. Surgery, medications and treatment with special glasses can all help minimize the effect of double vision.

References:

  1. Ophthalmology, dermatology, ENT, By Seau-Tak Cheung
  2. Diagnosis and Management of Ocular Motility Disorders, By Alec M. Ansons, Helen Davis
  3. Binocular vision and orthoptics: investigation and management, By Sandip Doshi, Bruce J. W. Evans
  4. A Dictionary of Neurological Signs, By Andrew J. Larner

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