Help and frequently asked questions

What causes double vision?

Answer: 

If you sometimes see two images of a single object, you are experiencing diplopia, also known as double vision. Double vision occurs when your vision system is not working correctly and can be a symptom of many different conditions. This is why you should book an appointment with your optometrist as quickly as possible if you experience any of the symptoms of double vision.

Understanding single and double vision

Each of your eyes works independently of the other - processing their own image of what is in front of you. These images are then joined together and processed by the brain as a single picture, which is what you see.This brain process is known as single binocular vision, but it may not work correctly when there is damage to the eye muscles or nerves, or if you have been affected by certain medical conditions. This can cause your eye muscles to be weakened and you may see two images as a result. You can experience double vision in one eye, or it can be caused when both eyes are not working together properly. Some people experience double vision only occasionally, while others struggle with this problem constantly. It is important to monitor your experiences carefully. Giving your doctor as much information as possible will help them to make a correct diagnosis. I am experiencing double vision - what does this mean?

There can be a number of reasons why you can experience double vision, so the most important thing you can do is make an appointment with your optometrist as soon as possible. If you are experiencing double vision, you should avoid driving, operating machinery, or carrying out other tasks that depend on your ability to see clearly. The right diagnosis will ensure you get the correct treatment - and will help to ensure the safety of yourself and others. Double vision is most commonly caused by lens issues, such as cataracts, as well as problems with your corneas. An eye infection, dryness or scratches and tears can all affect your ability to see single, clear images. Less common, but more serious causes of double vision can involve damage to your eye muscles, nervous system or brain - including strokes, tumours or migraine headaches. You may also experience double vision as a complication of other medical conditions, including diabetes or multiple sclerosis.

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