Diplopia

DIPLOPIA vision disorder

Last Updated December 20th, 2021

Overview

Have you ever had a sensation of seeing double? Sometimes, this can happen to us when we are tired or when we have been staring at a computer screen for extended periods of time. It could even occur when you suffer from a migraine headache. This double vision is usually transient and tends to go away when we have slept or rested our eyes well or when a migraine subsides. If the condition persists or recurs often, you should consider the possibility that it might be a symptom of a more deep-seated problem. In medical terms, double vision is known by the name ‘diplopia’.

 

What Is The Meaning of ‘Diplopia’ Or Double Vision?

DIPLOPIA vision disorderDouble vision involves the simultaneous perception of two images of the same object. The additional image may be displaced laterally, vertically or even rotationally. The two images may overlap as well. As we have already seen, this can be caused temporarily by eyestrain or eye fatigue.

Many of us may have experienced this at some point in time. Yet, it should also be borne in mind that the underlying cause for the double vision could be a more serious medical problem. This is especially true when the double vision persists for extended periods of time or reappears frequently.

 

What Are The Various Possible Causes Of Diplopia?

As we shall see, the list of potential causes of diplopia can be fairly extensive. Some conditions are benign while others can be very grave and should receive prompt medical attention. These range from actual vision defects and connective tissue disorders to severe neurological disorders.
Sometimes, the inability of the eye to correctly focus incident light is responsible for double vision. Hence, refractive errors such as astigmatism, myopia, and cataracts are the most common causes of diplopia. Alternatively, faulty alignment of the eyes could also be implicated. The movement of eyes is controlled by a set of muscles known as the external eyes muscles or extraocular muscles. If these are affected, the patient could develop diplopia.

The list below presents a comprehensive, although not exhaustive overview of conditions that could be responsible for causing double vision:

  • Astigmatism.
  • Cataracts.
  • Macular degeneration.
  • Squint.
  • Dry eye.
  • Irregularities in the shape of the cornea of the eye, as in patients with keratoconus.
  • Pterygium in the eye.
  • Dislocation of the lens of the eye.
  • Any condition that affects the 3rd, 4th or 6th cranial nerves.
  • A tumor affecting the nerves associated with eye muscles.
  • Head trauma.
  • Cardiovascular problems such as strokes or aneurysms that can affect the brain or nerves associated with the eyes.
  • Hypertension.
  • Diabetes
  • Myasthenia gravis.
  • Sjogren’s syndrome.
  • Multiple sclerosis.
  • Thyroid related ophthalmopathy.
  • Guillain-Barre syndrome.
  • Botulism.
  • Alcohol abuse.

 

What Are The Different Forms Of Double Vision And What Are Their Identifying Features?

DIPLOPIA double visionThere are two main types of diplopia:

  • Monocular diplopia: In such instances, diplopia develops in only one eye. Some possible causes for this include dislocation of the lens, having multiple apertures in the iris, or damage or irregularities in the cornea of the affected eye.
  • Binocular diplopia: As the name suggests, this type of double vision affects both eyes. If you cover one eye and your double vision returns to normal, then you are suffering from binocular diplopia. Generally, this arises because something is interfering with the ideal alignment of your eyes vis-a-vis each other. This can happen when you have a squint, or cranial nerve palsy, for instance.

 

Can There Be Any Serious Complications?

By itself, diplopia is not a particularly severe condition although it can be highly disconcerting on account of its ability to affect depth perception and the ability to correctly orient objects in space. This can lead to injuries and falls. However, diplopia should be taken seriously because it can serve as an early sign of severe systemic diseases affecting the muscles or nerves.  

 

How Is This Condition Diagnosed And Treated? Can It Be Cured?

DIPLOPIA correctionWhether or not double vision can be permanently rectified is largely dependent on the underlying condition that is responsible for it in the first place. Hence, the first and most important step towards determining this is to visit an ophthalmologist or an eye specialist, who will conduct a series of tests on you to help determine the nature of the condition and its causes. You may also need to visit other specialists if, for instance, you are suffering from an undiagnosed endocrine disorder, autoimmune condition or neurological problem. Generally, the following procedures can help to diagnose diplopia:

  • Physical examination which helps to note any accompanying symptoms.
  • Medical history, particularly a detailed assessment of the onset, duration, and frequency of episodes of double vision.
  • Visual acuity test.
  • Ocular motility test.
  • Neurological tests.
  • Imaging tests such as computerized tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) tests.

The exact treatment for correcting double-vision depends on the specific cause. These can be enlisted as:

  • Refractive Errors– Based diplopia can be corrected with the help of corrective glasses or contact lenses.
  • Eye-drops, warm compresses, and punctal plugs are used when dry eyes is the reason for double vision.
  • If the diplopia is caused due to a neurological condition, treating the underlying condition often corrects the vision problem.

Diplopia can be prevented to an exact by practicing proper visual hygiene. This includes:

  • Refraining from straining your eyes too much by long screen-time exposure.
  • Keeping your blood sugar in check.
  • Protecting your eyes and head from injury.
  • Getting childhood strabismus corrected effectively.

 

 

Dos and Don'ts

Dos
  • Keep your blood sugar in level if you are diabetic or in pre-diabetic stage.
  • Always keep your head and eyes protected from injuries and trauma when driving or performing risky activities in your workplace which might cause injury to the eyes or your head.
Don'ts
  • Strain your eyes too much while working on a computer or watching the TV. Keep blinking so that you don’t get dry eyes.
  • Delay in getting your eye sight checked after a head injury/trauma.
  • Ignore the condition of misaligned eyes in kids. Get it corrected as soon as possible.

 

 

 

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Albumin Test Albumin test or blood serum test is a liver function test that measures the amount of the protein…
blood elements analysis
Blood Element Analysis Test A blood element analysis is a blood test performed to measure the level of toxic elements such as…
fructosamine test
Fructosamine Test A fructosamine test measures blood sugar glucose content. Fructosamine level can indicate blood sugar level in past 2-3…
anoscopy
Anoscopy Anoscopy is an invasive diagnostic procedure where a small device known as anoscope will be inserted in the…
Diabetes blood test
Diabetic Profile The diabetic profile is a set of tests used for testing and monitoring the various kinds of Diabetes…
oral hygiene tips
6 shocking consequences of bad oral hygiene (and how to avoid them) Did you know bad breath is not just turning off, but also harms your body in ways you…
avocado benefits
Avocado: 15 reasons why this fruit should be a staple in your diet Did you know that the word avocado literally means "testicles". Don't get grossed out as this power-packed fruit…
Cayenne: The remarkable benefits of these red hot chili peppers These may make you rush for a glass of water, but cayenne pepper is actually a healthy additive…
Kava: Is it the healthy substitute for alcohol you have been waiting for? Native to the beautiful South Pacific islands, Kava is a famous beverage rooted in the local culture. It…
How seitan proved to be a blessing in disguise for vegans worldwide Can only meat-eaters enjoy delicious juicy steaks and burgers? With seitan, the best meat substitute available today,even vegans…
How can Kegels help you overcome weak pelvic muscles & incontinence? Kegel exercises are pelvic floor strengthening exercises that can help you overcome incontinence issues that rise out of…
Mood swings
The real reasons for your mood swings and how to overcome them Are you prone to heated moods frequently? Do you also feel bouts of depressive feeling creeping up on…
Urologist: When should you visit one and why? A urologist can treat not only genitourinary problems of both men and women but also can treat various…
Quinine: How gin and tonic came to be known as a potent health elixir The discovery of quinine-containing tree bark is sometimes considered the most serendipitous medical discovery of the 17th century.
glucose-tolerance
Oral Glucose Tolerance Test – GTT Glucose tolerance test (or Oral GTT) is used to detect the onset of diabetes or prediabetes conditions. It…
ASTtest-liver
AST- Aspartate Aminotransferase Test AST test is a blood test that is used to measure the level of a particular liver enzyme…
ANTIPHOSPHOLIPIDANTIBODY(APL)_IgG
Antiphospholipid (APL) antibody-IgG The Antiphospholipid Antibody testing is a blood test used to determine an autoimmune disorder called Antiphospholipid syndrome linked…
Strep throat pain
Anti-Streptolysin-O Test The ASO or Anti-Streptolysin-O is a blood test designed to check for the presence of streptococcus bacterial infection…
vdrl test syphilis
VDRL Test The VDRL test is a blood test that is used to diagnose sexually transmitted or venereal diseases, primarily…
malarial antigen test
Malaria Antigen Test A malaria antigen test is a rapid diagnostic test (RDT) that can detect malarial antigens (proteins) in your…
iron deficiency profile
Iron Deficiency Profile An iron deficiency profile is a battery of blood tests which are performed in order to determine the…
Hepatitis A virus infected liver
Hepatitis A Virus (HAV) Total Blood test to look for IgM antibodies to know if you are infected with Hepatitis A virus (HAV),…
stress depressed anxiety
Are you depressed or just stressed? Know when to see a doctor Why are some people more anxious than others? Is being depressed the same as feeling sad? Have you…
sugar toxic health
Sugar: 7 new shocking truths revealed about the sweet poison Can drinking soda bring you closer to death? Is sugar slowly poisoning you and your family? You would…
L-theanine attention
L-Theanine: Better sleep, higher focus, and many other benefits Did you know that L-theanine found in green tea can make you sleep better and be focused at…
High Fiber Diet – Fire up your fiber intake for these health benefits! Regular bowels, healthy detox, higher immunity, and guaranteed weight loss - a high fiber diet can bring all…
Agave nectar: The bitter truth about this sweetener revealed Agave nectar is considered to be sweeter than the normal table sugar and even contains higher amounts of…
gout diet purines
Gout Diet : Get relief from painful joints by eating these foods Are you a victim of this painful condition? Are medications providing only short relief? Find a list of…
DHEA wrinkles
DHEA: Now get unbelievable age defiance with this wonder hormone! DHEA is known popularly as the age-defying hormone. This supplement is widely used to slow down aging and…
Oil of Oregano: The one-stop essential oil you’ve been looking for Are you plagued by a weak immune system? High body inflammation accompanied by pain and infections? Why not…
Pescatarian Diet 101: What are the inherent health advantages of this diet? People opt to become a pescatarian in order to enrich their bodies with the essential health benefits that…
What is the right way to take a pregnancy test? A pregnancy test is undertaken to determine if you have conceived. A home pregnancy test is the most…
Inhale oxygen, exhale worries: The top breathing exercises and how to perform them Performing the breathing exercise is like becoming mindful of how you breathe.  Here is a list of breathing…
hemoglobin variant analysis
Hemoglobin Variant Analysis Hemoglobin variant analysis is a blood test that is used to detect the presence of hemoglobin variants which…
cystatin C
Cystatin C Test Cystatin C is a specific single-chain protein that is found in body fluids and is a biomarker for…
piles fissure fistula
Allopathy vs homeopathy vs ayurveda treatment for piles, fissures, and fistula Read to know the best form of treatment among allopathy, homeopathy,or ayurveda for piles, fissures, and fistula
liver detox facts
7 liver detox facts and why ignoring these could kill you! Are you taking care of this organ that handles over 500 different vital functions in your body? Your…

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