Double vision

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Double vision (medical term diplopia) occurs when two different images are sent to the brain because the eyes are misaligned. Double vision can cause problems in life, including great difficulty in completing the simplest tasks. OjY7Tq <a href="">smgtpdupibpf</a>, [url=]yueweveamuom[/url], [link=]thkkvmteiylh[/link],


All about double vision

Double vision is caused by two reasons:

  • The most common cause is misalignment of the two eyes due to functional problems in the visual system. This type of double vision is called binocular diplopia.
  • A much less common cause is structural defect in the eye's optical system. Cataracts, for example, might cause such a defect. This is called monocular diplopia and can appear in only one eye.

Double vision can be a symptom of many different visual conditions that affect children and adults, such as strabismus (eye turns: exotropia, esotropia, hypertropia), convergence insufficiency or visual conditions related to head injuries.

Types of double vision

There are three types of double vision:

  • binocular double vision,
  • monocular double vision, and
  • physiological double vision.

Binocular double vision

Binocular double vision is double vision that occurs when both eyes fail to work together properly. If you have binocular double vision, your vision will usually return to normal if either eye is covered.

Monocular double vision

Monocular double vision is double vision in one eye. Double vision continues when the unaffected eye is covered, but you should be able to see normally when the affected eye is covered. In cases of monocular double vision, the two images are often only slightly separated, which is sometimes referred to as ‘ghosting’.

Physiological double vision

Physiological double vision sometimes occurs ‘naturally’ when background objects (objects in a field of vision that someone is not specifically focusing on) appear double.

The brain usually compensates for this type of double vision, and it often goes unnoticed. However, children who complain of having double vision sometimes have physiological double vision.

The brain naturally guards

As double vision is a dangerous condition, the brain naturally guards against its occurrence by disregarding one of the mismatching images. That is, the brain will ignore one eye (called suppression).

This suppression allows a person's double vision to go unnoticed without medical evaluation or treatment, though the causes of the double vision may still persist. When vision in one eye is lost, the person has also lost normal depth perception and stereo vision. However, the loss of vision could be temporary and treatable.

Double vision due to head injuries

Double vision caused by a head trauma or brain injury can be cured by a specialist in binocular vision (two-eyed vision). Though many doctors prefer surgery, effective non-surgical rehabilitation is available

Double Vision and Lazy Eye (Amblyopia)

If an eye turn is constant in infants or children, the suppressed eye can become amblyopic (lazy eye) from non-use. Amblyopia causes more visual loss in the under 40 group than all the injuries and diseases combined in this age group. Amblyopia also causes a loss of depth perception and stereo vision (stereopsis).

Although suppression of double vision can cause lazy eye, it is very important to understand that there are various causes and treatments for double vision and that crossed eyes and lazy eye are not the same condition.


First a comprehensive test is required to determine the cause of double vision. Depending on the findings, treatments can include surgery, vision therapy, prism in the glasses prescription or medications. It's important to have a comprehensive eye examination to help determine the cause of the double vision as soon as possible. It may also become necessary to consult a specialist, such as a neurologist or neurosurgeon.

If a sudden double vision is ignored and it cures on its own over a long time period, this may mean your brain has tuned out one of the images (suppressed it). Although this is certainly more comfortable and bearable for you, it is not a good sign. Suppression could be masking a serious problem that needs to be solved.

What can I do?

  • Get your eyes regularly checked up by an ophthalmologist or optometrist.
  • If you are over 65 get these checkups done once a year.
  • If you have diabetes or you are already showing early signs of eye problems from diabetes, high blood pressure, or other causes, more frequent checkups maybe advised.

These important steps can prevent eye and vision problems:

  • Ptotect your eyes by wearing sunglasses
  • Avoid smoking
  • Drink alcohol to limits.
  • Keep your blood pressure and cholesterol under control.
  • If diabetic, keep your blood sugars under control.
  • Eat foods rich in antioxidants, like green leafy vegetables.


  • Multiple sclerosis can affect nerves anywhere in the brain or spinal cord. If the nerves controlling the eyes are damaged, double vision can result. [1]
  • Guillain-Barre syndrome is a nerve condition that causes progressive weakness. Sometimes, the first symptoms occur in the eyes and cause double vision. [1]
  • Uncontrolled diabetes can lead to nerve damage in one of the eyes, causing eye weakness and diplopia.[1]
  • If diplopia can't be reversed, treatments can help people live with double vision.[1]
  • Double vision can occur by itself with no other symptoms.[1]

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Additional information


  • Double Vision
  • About Double Vision (Diplopia)
  • Double Vision or Ghost Images
  • Medline Plus


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 WebMD