You may have experienced double vision after a particularly fun party, or an exhausting day at work. But if you’ve noticed that you’re seeing double all the time, without an identifyable cause, it could be an indication of a serious eye issue. Below are some of the most common possible causes of double vision, medically known as diplopia.
LASIK, PRK, and other forms of refractive surgery sometimes cause double vision. When the corneas are altered, it may initially cause light rays to scatter instead of focusing properly. Fortunately, this issue usually clears up on its own within a few weeks or months. If the problem fails to clear up, a second surgery may be necessary.
“Dry eye” is a condition in which the eye does not produce a sufficient amount or quality of fluid. Symptoms of dry eye include seeing “ghost images” and/or double vision. If your eye doctor concludes that this is the case, your treatment may include prescription eye drops, punctal (tear duct) plugs, eye vitamins, and improved lid hygiene techniques.
Cataracts is another condition that may cause ghost images or double vision. This is because when the eye’s lens, which sits behind the pupil, begins to cloud, it can cause light rays to scatter in different directions, creating multiple, incomplete images instead of one. Laser cataract surgery can usually eliminate this problem.
Double vision can also be caused by corneal conditions such as keratoconus, or cone-shaped corneas, and corneal dystrophy, or deterioration of the corneal structure. In many cases, these conditions can be treated with specialty contact lenses; dry eye treatments such as punctal plugs; or prescription eye drops. In extreme cases, eye surgery such as a corneal transplant may be necessary.
Strokes, head injuries, brain tumors, brain aneurysms, and cranial nerve palsies are all unlikely, but possible, causes of double vision. If you have experienced a concussion recently, or have a family history of brain cancer, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, meningitis, or high blood pressure, be sure to mention this to your optometrist so that he or she can refer you to a specialist, if necessary.
If you are experiencing double vision or another eye-related issue, be sure to visit our Raleigh optometrists for a check-up. The sooner you stop in for treatment, the easier the solution will be! To schedule an appointment, please click here.