Double vision (Diplopia)
If you see two of whatever you are looking at, you may have a condition known as diplopia, also referred to as double vision.
It needs to be differentiated from blurred vision. Double and blurred vision are often thought to be the same, but they are not. In blurred vision, a single image seen by one eye appears unclear. In double vision, two images are seen at the same time (one from each eye), creating understandable confusion for anyone who has it.
What causes diplopia?
Diplopia may result from failure of both eyes to point at the object being viewed, a condition referred to as ocular misalignment. In normal vision, both eyes look at the same object. The images seen by the two eyes are fused into a single picture by the brain. If the eyes do not point at the same object, the image seen by each eye is different and cannot be fused. This results in double vision.
Can ignoring diplopia be dangerous?
Yes, new onset squint and diplopia may sometime be due to dangerous conditions like raised pressure in the brain, brain tumors and aneurysms. If ignored it can be disastrous hence diplopia requires immediate attention of your doctor, preferably a neuro- ophthalmologist.
What is the treatment of diplopia?
Once serious neurological conditions are ruled out, treatment of diplopia consists of eye exercises, prism glasses surgical straightening of the eye or a combination of all modalities. Therapy is aimed at re-aligning the misaligned eye where possible without surgery and re-stimulating the part of the visual pathway to the brain which is not working correctly.