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Double Vision

Double Vision

Double vision (diplopia) is a serious and intolerable condition that can be caused by a variety of reasons. Ideally, our two eyes will align and point at a target as a precise team. Our eyes send that image to our brain and we see one single image. When the two eyes are misaligned and aim at two different targets, two images will be sent to the brain which creates double vision. Double vision is very messy and confusing to the brain, so the brain tends to guard itself from this occurring. Eventually, the brain will ignore one of the images, causing suppression of one eye.

Due to the brain’s ability to suppress one eye, a person’s double vision can appear to go away before uncovering why it was there to begin with. It is important to keep in mind that the causes of the double vision are very likely still present and that loss of vision in one eye has probably occurred due to lack of treatment. But the loss of vision could be temporary and treatable.

Left: normal binocular vision Center: horizontal double vision Right: vertical double vision

As stated above, double vision can be a symptom of many different visual conditions and can affect children and adults.  Conditions include: eye teaming deficits such as convergence insufficiency, eye alignment conditions such as strabismus, ophthalmoplegia, gaze palsy, and decompensated binocular skills in patients with brain injury, stroke and other neurologically compromising conditions. Prisms, lenses and/or vision therapy can often help the patient achieve fusion (alignment of the eyes) and alleviate the double vision.