You may have experienced double vision after a particularly fun party, or an extra-exhausting shift at work. This type of temporary double vision is usually nothing to worry about. But if you’ve noticed that you’re seeing double all the time, it could be a sign of a serious eye issue. Below are some of the most common possible causes of double vision, also known as diplopia. If you are experiencing these symptoms, be sure to visit an optometrist as soon as possible for a professional diagnosis.
Severely dry eyes can cause “ghost images” or double vision as the eye does not produce a sufficient amount or quality of fluid. If this is the case, treatment may include eye drops (possibly prescription), punctal plugs (tear duct plugs), eye vitamins, and improved lid hygiene techniques.
Cataracts may cause ghost images or double vision, especially when the patient looks at bright lights. This is because the eye’s natural lens, which sits behind the pupil, begins to cloud, causing light rays to scatter in different directions and creating multiple, incomplete images. Laser cataract surgery can usually eliminate this problem.
Double vision can be caused by such conditions as keratoconus (cone-shaped corneas) and corneal dystrophies (deterioration of the corneal structure). Many of these conditions can be treated with specialty contact lenses; dry eye treatments such as punctal plugs; or eye drops. In extreme cases, eye surgery such as a corneal transplant may be necessary. Your optometrist can help you determine the best solution for your unique situation.
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. Patients are advised to use eye drops in the interim. If the problem fails to clear up, a second surgery may be needed.
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 suspect that you have another eye-related issue, be sure to see our laser eye surgery Raleigh optometrists. Our professional, experienced eye doctors can help keep your eyes as healthy as possible. Don’t risk your health or your safety by letting the problem go—book an appointment as soon as possible!