Double Vision or Diplopia is a common and troublesome subjective complaint. Diplopia is derived from Greek words ‘diplous’ meaning double and ‘ops’ meaning eye.
The patient’s ability to walk, read and perform day-to-day activities is suddenly hampered. It leads to formation of two images of the same object instead of one at the retina. Recent squint is the most common cause of diplopia.
There are two types of diplopia- ‘binocular diplopia’ or double vision when both the eyes are open and ‘uniocular diplopia’, when one eye is closed. Obviously the causes of each type vary.
Some of the important causes of diplopia are diabetes, multiple sclerosis, raised blood pressure, brain tumors, migraine, aneurysms, strokes, myasthenia gravis, and thyroid eye diseases. The most common cause of diplopia is cataract.
Diplopia is accompanied by symptoms like headache, droopy eyelids, nausea, pain around eyes and squint.
Urgent medical attention is required in case of sudden onset of diplopia as it could be an indication of a potentially grave condition. The diagnosis is made by hematological tests and imaging like MRI or CT scans.
Identifying and curing the cause can eliminate diplopia. The condition can be improved upon by surgery, medications and application of special glasses.