Double vision, or diplopia, is a symptom to take seriously. Many causes of double vision are fairly innocuous-or you may have had a gin and tonic too many-but some can be quite serious and need immediate attention.
The seemingly automatic process of seeing one clear image when we open our eyes is dependent on many areas of our vision system all working properly and at the same time.
If you are experiencing double vision, it may be as a result of a problem with any of those functioning parts of the vision system. Double vision needs to be reported promptly.
Problems with the cornea often cause double vision in only one of your eyes, and if you cover it with your hand the double vision goes away. The problem is that an abnormal corneal surface distorts the incoming light badly and causes double vision. Damage can happen in several ways:
If a muscle in one eye is weak-much weaker than the other eye, then it can’t move smoothly in conjunction with its mate. This will cause you to experience double visions. Eye muscle problems stem from the following:
The nerves controlling the eyes connect directly to the brain, and visual processing occurs there as the brain makes sense of the image generated. Any of the following issues-and these are all SERIOUS issues-will cause double vision. They include:
Double vision can occur by itself with no other symptoms. Depending on the cause, other symptoms may be present with double vision, such as:
Double vision that's new or unexplained needs medical attention right away. With so many potentially serious causes for double vision, it's important to discover the reason without delay.
Once you have established the cause of your double vision, see if you might be a candidate for Laser Eye Surgery which can help in cases of astigmatism or other refractive errors by reshaping the cornea using laser.
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