Double vision is when your eye sees more than one image of the same thing. Instead of looking crisp and clear, objects seem blurry, almost as if a “ghost” image were overlapping. The scientific name for this eye condition is diplopia. What causes double vision, and how serious is it?
Causes of Double Vision
Several conditions can cause double vision. Sometimes, the problem is related to the lens or cornea of the eye, causing light to focus incorrectly on the retina and create double images. In other cases, diplopia is related to nerve damage, muscle weakness, or brain problems.
Astigmatism is one of the most common causes of double vision in West Springfield, MA. This condition means the eye’s cornea or lens is curved incorrectly, so light focuses on different parts of the retina simultaneously. This causes blurry vision, double vision, or eye strain. Fortunately, most cases can be corrected with prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses.
2. Dry Eyes and Eyestrain
The muscles of your eyes can get tired out after long or intense use, such as staring for hours at a computer screen. Dry eyes can happen when you don’t blink sufficiently (often from a computer screen) or when your house is very dry. Both eyestrain and dry eyes can cause temporary double vision.
A cataract is when the lens of an eye becomes clouded. This is a common condition for senior adults, and it can affect one or both eyes. Eye specialists can remove cataracts with a safe, effective surgery.
4. Diabetes or High Blood Pressure
Diabetes and hypertension can cause nerve damage in the muscles that control eye movement. This can make it hard for your eyes to focus properly and cause double vision. In this case, the solution is to get treatment for your diabetes or high blood pressure.
5. Migraine Headaches
Some migraine sufferers experience double vision every time they get a migraine. If this is your case, the diplopia should go away when your migraine subsides.
6. Head Injuries
Injuries to the head can cause bleeding or swelling of the brain. This trauma can happen even if the impact doesn’t look serious on the outside. Pressure on nerves can cause double vision, vomiting, vertigo, and other symptoms.
Sudden double vision that doesn’t go away after an hour or two may be a sign of a life-threatening stroke or a brain aneurysm. The brain isn’t receiving blood or oxygen, which can cause double vision in both eyes. Other symptoms are paralysis of facial muscles, severe headache, slurred speech, and intense dizziness.
8. Brain Tumors
Similar to head injuries, brain tumors put pressure on nerves in the brain. The result can be long-lasting double vision, headaches that increase in severity, unexplained vomiting, and other serious systems.
Double Vision: Should You Be Concerned?
Seeing double can make anyone panic. The good news is that diplopia caused by astigmatism can be treated with a visit to the eye doctor. If you mainly notice double vision after spending all day in front of a bright computer screen, the solution may be just to give your eyes some rest every 20 minutes.
That said, sometimes diplopia is caused by serious or life-threatening health conditions. If double vision appears suddenly, or you have other worrying symptoms, visit your doctor right away. Always do this if double vision occurs after a head injury. Afterward, contact Northeast Laser, Dr. John Frangie, in West Springfield, MA, to find an effective treatment for double vision.
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