Double Vision

A wide range of conditions can cause double vision, including problems within the cornea or lens of the eye, problems with the muscles or nerves controlling eye movement, or issues with the brain. Some causes are benign and quite treatable such as dry eye, while other causes may be life-threatening, such as stroke or aneurysm. Appropriate diagnosis is the critical first step toward helping this problem and the ophthalmologists at Fry Eye Associates are well trained to do so. Treatment for double vision is dependent on the cause.

Double Vision FAQ

Some causes of double vision come from the clear layer that covers the front of the eye called the cornea. Problems like astigmatism, dry eye and corneal scarring distort its surface, which can create double vision. Your eye’s natural lens can also be the source of the problem. The most common lens problem that can cause double vision is a cataract, which is a clouding of the normally clear lens due to aging. Our ophthalmologists can remove the cataract with an outpatient surgery.

Double vision can also be caused by eye muscle problems. There are six muscles in your eye socket that control eye movement. Problems such as weakness or paralysis in any of these muscles can prevent one eye from moving in coordination with the other, creating double vision.

Misaligned eyes is known as strabismus. Common causes of this problem include thyroid eye disease, childhood strabismus disorders (there are many types), and nerve palsies. Certain cranial nerves connect the brain to the eye muscles to control eye movement. Some conditions that can affect or damage these cranial nerves, causing double vision, include diabetes, myasthenia gravis and the herpes zoster virus that causes shingles.

Several areas of the brain process visual information and coordinate the movement of the eyes through cranial nerves. If these brain areas are affected by illness or injury, double vision can result. Some brain conditions that can lead to double vision include brain aneurysm, brain tumors, excess pressure inside the brain and from stroke.

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