Double vision (diplopia) can be caused by thyroid disease, stroke or multiple sclerosis (MS). Double vision is when a single object appears blurred or doubled. Double vision can be temporary or it can occur all the time. Double vision can be horizontal, vertical or diagonal.
There are three types of diplopia: binocular double vision, monocular double vision and physiological double vision. Binocular double vision is when both eyes do not work properly, but if the patient covers one eye, their vision returns to normal.
Monocular double vision is when a patient covers the unaffected eye and the vision remains doubled. Only one eye produces the double vision, so when the affected eye is covered vision appears normal.
Lastly, physiological double vision is when objects that a person is not focusing on appear double. This type of double vision can go unnoticed because the brain compensates for the double vision in the background. This type of double vision is most commonly seen in children.
Depending on the type of double vision you have, there are a variety of causes. Here are the causes of double vision based on each type of diplopia.
Monocular double vision causes
Physiological double vision causes
Double vision can also be temporary. Common causes of temporary double vision include:
The main symptom of double vision is seeing two of a singular object. This condition is often confused with blurry vision, but in blurred vision a single object is unclear and in double vision there appears to be two of the same object.
For some, double vision can be temporary and come and go, but for others it can be a daily occurrence.
The type of double vision that you have – binocular or monocular – will determine the modes of treatment that can be done. Common treatment options for binocular double vision include:
Treatment for monocular double vision:
Although not life-threatening, double vision can be a nuisance and impede on daily life. Understanding the underlining cause is a good start in determining treatment options for double vision. Getting regular eye exams is also beneficial as changes in visions can be spotted immediately, before complications arise.