Diplopia is the condition when a single object appearing as two objects. According to University of Michigan, Kellogg Eye Center, diplopia may be the result of a refractive error, where light from an object is split into two images by a defect in the eye's optical system. Cataracts might, for example, cause such a defect.
The only symptom for diplopia is seeing two image of one object.
Causes of Diplopia / Double vision
A cause of diplopia can be many and is often very important to ascertain. Diplopia can be cause due to a problem with the cornea that damages the surface of the eye. This damage can be due to an infection of the cornea or others issues like scars or the cornea drying up.
Diplopia can also be caused due to a problem in the lens of the eye. Cataracts are a common problem that causes diplopia. If cataracts are present in both eyes, images from both eyes will be distorted.
Diagnosis of Diplopia / Double vision
Often the basis of diagnosis is finding the cause of diplopia. Double vision is often easy to diagnose only through the symptoms and often extensive tests are not needed. According to Harvard Health Publications the first step is to determine whether your double vision is monocular or binocular. To do this, your doctor will ask you to cover one eye and then the other. If you have monocular diplopia, your doctor will evaluate you for conditions, such as cataracts, that could be causing the problem.
In such cases an ophthalmologist will take care of the condition and further tests will be conducted. If the problem is binocular a doctor will try and determine if the patient has diabetes, Graves' disease or neurological disorders.
In diagnosing binocular diplopia Harvard Health Publication says a doctor has to first determine which eye muscles are affected. To do this, you will be asked to look at the doctor's finger as he moves it up, down, left and right. This lets the doctor see how far your eye can move in each direction. Your doctor also will cover one eye and then the other, while you focus on a target. If the doctor sees your eyes shift as the eye cover is moved, it means your eyes are not aligned properly.
According to University of Michigan, Kellogg Eye Center, treatment of double vision consists of eye exercises, surgical straightening of the eye or a combination of the two. Therapy is aimed at re-aligning the misaligned eye where possible without surgery and re-stimulating the part of the visual pathway to the brain which is not working correctly.
Prevention of Diplopia / Double vision
Double vision can only be prevented in cases where it is caused due to a trauma to your head. Head trauma can be prevented by wearing protective gear where there is the hazard of some accident and damage to your head. People with diabetes can decrease their chance of nerve damage, which can lead to double vision, by controlling blood sugar.
Date last updated: August 02, 2013