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Double Vision

Information on the different forms of diplopia

Double vision occurs as a result of the eyes being out of alignment with each other, causing a person to see two images of one object either permanently or temporarily. The clinical name for this condition is diplopia. There are several different types of this affliction, including binocular diplopia, monocular diplopia and vertical diplopia.

Often, people will confuse double vision with blurred vision; while both are related to vision problems the difference is that blurred vision is only a single image that is blurry rather than two images seen at the same time.

Double Vision Types

The two main forms of double vision are:

  • Monocular Diplopia. This is when double vision occurs in a single eye. If the affected eye is covered, the regular eye can still see and function normally.
  • Binocular Diplopia. This is when double vision occurs in both eyes simultaneously. With this form of diplopia, covering either eye will allow the uncovered eye to go back to normal.

While not as common, vertical diplopia is another form of double vision. This is when the image from one eye is displaced vertically above the other image.

What are the Causes of Double Vision?

If binocular double vision occurs out of the blue, it is usually due to the onset of a disease; some of the illnesses related to diplopia are:

It's also possible that a head injury can also result in either temporary or permanent binocular vision. For some people double vision symptoms may appear to come and go, but this is often because the brain will suppress the input of one eye as a means of survival. As a result of this suppression, stereo vision and depth perception is lost. If you suffer from periodic bouts of double vision make sure to get medical treatment right away.

Double Vision Treatment

Treating diplopia will depend on the cause as well as the type. Some double vision therapy techniques include wearing an eye patch or using a filter on your glasses. More invasive procedures to correct diplopia include eye muscle surgery or having a botulinum toxin injection into the eye muscle. Consult with your doctor to determine which treatments for blurred vision are best for your particular case.

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