Double Vision (cont.)
Patricia S. Bainter, MD
Dr. Bainter is a board-certified ophthalmologist. She received her BA from Pomona College in Claremont, CA, and her MD from the University of Colorado in Denver, CO. She completed an internal medicine internship at St. Joseph Hospital in Denver, CO, followed by an ophthalmology residency and a cornea and external disease fellowship, both at the University of Colorado. She became board certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology in 1998 and recertified in 2008. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Ophthalmology. Dr. Bainter practices general ophthalmology including cataract surgery and management of corneal and anterior segment diseases. She has volunteered in eye clinics in the Dominican Republic and Bosnia. She currently practices at One to One Eye Care in San Diego, CA.
William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
In this Article
- What is double vision?
- What causes double vision?
- What are the symptoms and signs of double vision?
- What tests do health care professionals use to diagnose the cause of double vision?
- What is the treatment for double vision?
- What types of doctors treat double vision?
- Is it possible to prevent double vision?
- What is the prognosis for double vision?
- Find a local Doctor in your town
What is the treatment for double vision?
Once the underlying cause has been determined, treatment is tailored to the underlying condition.
For example, diplopia stemming from refractive errors (myopia, hyperopia, astigmatism) can be corrected with glasses or contact lenses. Dry eyes may be treated with artificial tears, anti-inflammatory drops, punctal plugs, warm compresses, and a variety of other treatments. Many corneal irregularities are treatable with medication, laser, or surgery. Cataracts are treated with surgery, and posterior capsule opacification (after cataract surgery) is treated with laser. Binocular diplopia is occasionally caused by vision-threatening or life-threatening conditions requiring urgent or emergent treatment. This is particularly the case with aneurysms, head trauma, stroke, and other neurologic conditions. Any onset of diplopia with accompanying neurologic symptoms such as headache, nausea, dizziness, loss of balance, etc., should be evaluated immediately.
In many cases, double vision may subside with treatment of the underlying disease.
Double vision produced by poor blood supply to the nerves in diabetes will often resolve over time as the blood sugar is brought under better control. If eye muscle movements are restricted due to scarring (such as chronic Graves' disease) or entrapment (as after traumatic orbital bone fracture), surgery of the muscles or surrounding tissue may correct the problem.
Convergence insufficiency, or inability to align the eyes when focusing on a near object, is a common benign cause of intermittent binocular diplopia when reading. It can improve with eye exercises (pencil pushups) or with use of prisms.
Often glasses with prisms can be worn to correct binocular diplopia. If the diplopia is expected to resolve, temporary prisms (Fresnel prisms) can be added to glasses and later removed when the eyes realign.
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