Did you know?
As double vision can occur for a number of reasons, treatment will depend on its underlying cause. Your optician will be able to help determine the best treatment for you. If you experience double vision with pain or severe headache, you should go to your nearest A&E department.
What causes double vision in both eyes?
Double vision in both eyes is known as binocular. Most cases of double vision occur when both eyes aren’t working together properly. Each eye is surrounded by six muscles, which coordinate in order for the eyes to look toward the same point. Weakness in any of the muscles or their nerve supply can lead to binocular double vision. Rarely, but much more seriously, double vision can be caused by problems with the brain.
Causes of double vision in one eye
Double vision in one eye is known as monocular and is least common of the two. This type is usually caused by an eye problem, such as:
Temporary double vision
Episodes of temporary diplopia happen for many reasons, like if you’ve been drinking too much alcohol, or if you’re over-tired. Short-term double vision is usually nothing to worry about, but if you experience double vision for longer than 48 hours we’d recommend getting your eyes checked by your optician or GP.
Diagnosing double vision
If you’re experiencing symptoms of double vision it’s important to see your optician or GP soon, as the causes and severity of double vision can vary.
In order to diagnose double vision, your optician will carry out a thorough eye examination to investigate the health of your eyes and assess the coordination of eye movements. During the exam, they may ask questions to understand the underlying causes of the double vision.
They may ask if your symptoms are:
- In one eye (monocular) or both eyes (binocular)
- Constant or intermittent
- Same or changing with movement of head or direction of gaze
- At near or far vision
What is the treatment for double vision?
As double vision can occur for a number of reasons, treatment will depend on its underlying cause, and could range from simple eye exercises to minor surgery.
Your optician will be able to help to determine the right solution and suggest the best treatment for you. In some cases, they may recommend you visit your GP, or a hospital eye department for treatment.
If you experience double vision with pain or severe headache, you should go to your nearest A&E department.
Did you know an eye test could save your life?
For some of our customers, an appointment with Specsavers has not only saved their vision but in some cases it has saved their lives.
We’re working with the National Council for the Blind Ireland (NCBI) to defend the nation against avoidable sight loss, and support those with eyesight difficulties.