Diplopia is a condition in which a single object is seen in duplicate. Double and blurred vision is often thought to be the same, but they are not. In blurred vision, a single image that is seen by one eye seems to be unclear.
Causes of Diplopia
Diplopia can be the result of a refractive error, where light from an object is divided into two images by a disorder in your eye's optical system. Cataracts might, for example, cause such a defect.
Diplopia also may result from the failure of both eyes to focus at the object being viewed, a condition referred to as ocular misalignment.
In normal vision, both eyes look at the same object. The images then seen by both eyes are fused into a single picture by the brain.
If your eyes do not point at the same object, the image seen by each eye is different and cannot be formed together. This results in double vision.
Risk Factors related to Diplopia
There are many causes of diplopia and risk factors depend on the underlying cause.
Test & Diagnosis
A complete eye exam is needed to identify the cause of diplopia. This includes a complete medical history, assessment of visual acuity, eye motility, and evaluation for ocular misalignment.
Additional testing, such as MRI or CT scan and blood tests, may be performed depending on the cause of diplopia.
Symptoms of Diplopia
- Eyes wander or appear "crossed" or misaligned
- Double vision
The symptoms described above may not necessarily mean that you have diplopia. However, if you experience one or more of these symptoms, contact your ophthalmologist
for a complete exam.
Treatment & Drugs
Treatment of diplopia basically depends on the underlying cause and may consist of eye patching, prisms, eye exercises, surgical straightening of the eye, or a combination of these options.
Therapy is focused at realigning the misaligned eye where possible without surgery and re-stimulating the part of the visual pathway to the brain that is not working correctly.
Certain rare causes of diplopia may be treated with medication. Your ophthalmologist will decide if your kind of diplopia is likely to respond to medicine.