Also known as diplopia in medical terminology, double vision is due to imbalance in eye movements. It usually refers to a state whereby the two eyes fail to move in synchrony, one eye lagging behind in one or more directions of gaze. The resulting double vision can be a debilitating symptom with impact on carrying out routine tasks such as driving.
What are the causes of diplopia?
Common causes of diplopia are diabetes and hypertension. They are self limiting. Rare causes such as compression of nerves in the head or eye socket, malfunctioning of nerves due to loss of their insulating coat (myelin sheath) or trauma require thorough examination and close monitoring by an ophthalmologists, often jointly with a neurologist to establish diagnosis and treatment where necessary. Restriction of eye movements is also seen in overactive thyroid, inflammation of the eye muscles or following facial trauma.
Can diplopia be treated?
Most of the times, diplopia is self limiting. However, intractable diplopia can be alleviated wit the help of prisms incorporated in spectacles. Rarely, surgery or botulinum injection (BOTOX) may be used to adjust the eye muscles.